TO: Not a "welfare" case

by Sue

You are very snide in your remarks saying that those who disagreed with you must be deadbeat dads. What is your "overly educated" definition of a "deadbeat dad"? This term is far too overused by the custodial parent! I, too, am an educated woman, albeit, not so high on the corporate ladder as you, but I was a single mother from the time that my daughter was in kindergarten, until the time she was in the 8th grade. I am now married to a man who is called a "deadbeat dad" from those of you who have no idea what you're talking about. My daughter's father was not the best at paying child support, but he visited her regularly and paid what he could when he could.

He bought her school supplies, winter coats and shoes, nice Christmas gifts and attended everything she was involved in in school. I desperately needed the money for support, but because of his love and involvement with her, and because he made sure he bought the things she needed, I didn't complain. I didn't feel the need for her to be "wealthy" with money, but wealthy with both of our love. There was no particular "lifestyle" she was entitled to, any more than anyone else, other than LOVE! She and I had a quote on our fridge while she was growing up..."If you want to feel rich, count all the things you have that money can't buy." We were rich, in many ways, but not by raping her father.

On the other hand, my now husband is facing criminal charges from the state of Texas for non-support. Did I mention that both his kids are parents themselves now? And that his kids left home at ages 15 and 16 (NOT 18). And that their mother would not allow visitation once he began dating after their divorce? Did I mention that he paid child support for a while after the visitation ceased? There were only about 3 years which he did not pay. His ex reported the arrearages at $16,000 (which was not accurate because the kids had left home before they were 18, but hey, who's counting?) He had been in contact with his kids, who came to visit him in NC in about 1999. Oh! This made the ex mad, this is when she filed for back support. She knew where he was, but a warrant was not served on him until 2003! He went to TX and turned himself in. By then, the alleged $16,000 with penalty and interest had turned into, get this....$40,000! BUT, there ws no way to fight her lies and the AG there, so what it came down to is that my husband (who, by the way is a great guy loved by everyone who knows him)is now a "convicted felon".

He's been paying the arrearages since then to the tune of $300/month, all of our tax refunds (READ MY TAX REFUNDS, TOO-although I file as an injured spouse), and even our stimulus checks have gone toward the balance since 2003! Guess what, he has been out of work due to injuries for the past several months and couldn't pay anything, so they come and arrest him again, saying he owes child support in the amount we go again...$40,000! WHERE DID THE MONEY GO HE HAD PAID FOR THE PAST 6 YEARS? We can't fight it, we've tried. We even had a family member offering to put up their house to offer her a cash settlement of $10,000 the first time and $20,000 the next! SHE REFUSED the money saying she didn't need it, but wanted to watch him squirm. When his attorney called her to offer the $10,000 she reported the attorney for harassment. This woman is evil indeed. And she is a liar and knows it in her heart. But, we can sleep at night knowing we are honest and telling the truth, and pray she tosses and turns and feels a conscience, if she has one. We will do whatever we have to do, whatever is required by law, but we can never beat the Texas AG, no sir! The AG can't be approached, and no amount of proof is enough to make them realize they are wrong. Fight them all you want, but you can't win. Only God can deal with the exes and the AG, but their time will come to stand in judgement, and they will get theirs then!

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This happens more often than not
by: Anonymous

It appears that the AG is nothing more than a shakedown department. 'Tis true that if some aren't forced to pay, they'd pay nothing at all. That's why laws were passed to make it happen.
On the other hand, the laws are so inslaving, that ex spouses can really have the upper hand, and turn it into servitude, instead of taking care of a child.
My husband's ex uses the money she gets as her personal piggy bank, instead of her daughter's support. Be that as it may, it's her name on the check, so she'll have to account for that herself, when the money runs dry, and the child gets not a dime from us ever again, and is written out of the will! She got her inheritance early, as far as I feel about it, and the rest of the money and property after she's grown will go to our son. I think that the tide will turn, and there will be a reckoning. She'll have had the laugh all the way to the bank on the first go round, but her daughter will pay for her wicked ways. That'll be no realtionship with her father, and none with her brother, and never welcome in our home.

Does the AG care about the children?
by: Sue

I see several responses to my original post, but one question I have is....Does the Texas AG really care about the children, or are they more concerned about child support and the interest THEY earn when it goes unpaid? The custodial parent can make up a number....say $10,000. They can fo to the courts and say this amount remains unpaid. The court system says, "OK, this is the amount we will collect." Right figure or wrong figure, YOU ARE LIABLE FOR IT! PLUS penalty and interest. Any one of you who owe "back support with interest", try getting the state to stop the interest. It won't work! They will not stop accruing the interest, NO MATTER WHAT! We have someone who is willing to put a reverse mortgage on their homw to "settle" up with the state of Texas. Texas will not settle for less than 100% of arrearges plus interest, and there's no proving that the initial amount of arrearage is wrong. Even if you have immaculate, unfallible records, the amount stated by the custodial parent is taken as gospel. Any suggestions?

I feel your pain...
by: Frustrated in Florida

Not a 'welfare' case. You given me some release that I'm not the only step-mom out there that gets stepped on. I've been married to my husband for 4 years now. I too had a child from a previous relationship and was never able to collect child support for my child. Instead I worked, and worked hard to take care of my child I even went back to school and got my master's degree in order to be marketable for more pay. Then I met my husband!

I love my husband with all my heart. But when we started dating his ex-wife found out and started calling my home and harassing me. She even went so far as to have their then 12 year old daughter call my home to harass me. At the time I worked for child welfare and I made an abuse report on her for using her child in the manner that she did.

My husband has always had a great income and been a great provider. We have always made sure the child support was paid on time EVERY MONTH. Some months when she had spent the money with in the first week (she has a serious gambling habit) we even went so far as to send her a month's child support early. I even recall one month sending child support to her via Western Union because she stated there was no food in the house and she needed money right away. It has been this way for 4 years now never a problem, always generous.

Then, she started playing games with the health insurance (which my husband maintains)and refusing to pay co-payments after rushing the child to the emergency room instead of taking her to her regular physician. She never told us about these visits and one day the accumulated co-payments from her area hospitals were sent to a debt collector (the bills were sent to her home in his name and she tossed them) and we found out about it though an alert on my husband's credit report. I paid the bill because it was at Christmas time and money was tight. I told her that she would be held liable for the bill and that I should not be held responsible for what she does with her child.

Stupidly my husband decided to let her know that he would withold that money from her child support and he did and she turned around and contacted the Oklahoma Child Support office who are now after 4 years of NEVER LATE PAYMENTS garnishing his wages. We have 15 months left of this garbage. My step-daughter does not talk to her father because she believes that her parents should be together. She says that I am an evil bitch because I married her father. I pray...a lot. And I am thankful that we will be free as of May 2010 when this child finally graduates from high school.

I told my husband that she will always be his daughter and he will always be her father...but right now May 2010 can't come soon enough!

Sad situations
by: Sue

It is terribly sad and heartbreaking for the non-custodial parents when they have to go through hell and highwater to see their children. It gets frustrating and they eventually give up. More often than not, the custodial parent bad mouths the non-custodial to the point that it turns the kids away from the "missing" parent. The children of divorce in Texas would greatly benefit from parental counseling for the divorced parents, and on a regular basis (or as needed when things get heated), with a fair mediator. My daughter's well being and peace of mind was far too important to me and her father to let money interfere. Granted, we need money to support our kids, but my daughter didn't have to without. I did have a hard time meeting my payments and obligations, but my daughter had both parents, which matters above all else! She's 23 now and has a close and loving relationship with me and her father.

Thumb's UP!
by: Stepmother of 3

You are not alone, and yes in the End they will be judged. We all need to try and fight this system and get the laws changed. I'm tired of Non-custiodal parents getting treated this way we pay and pay and it is never good enough, People it is about the Children and NOT about how deep the Non custiodal parents pockets are. Many of you are upset because your ex left you or you left them and they have moved on and you are jelious and want to make their life a living hell. I bet you all if it was up to the children all they would want is LOVE, NOT MONEY. It should be 50/50 as far as caculating child support, both incomes should be considered, and if a custiodal parent don't have a job then you get a lower % until you get a job. Yes raising children is hard work but it shouldn't be all up to the noncustiodal parent to show the money.IT TAKES 2 PEOPLE TO HAVE A CHILD!And as far as the back CS these women that collect it get rewarded with intrest and that is wrong.I pray that some day the AG, and the ex's collecting a check how WRONG they are! Until then we need to right letters to our law makers and get this unjust system changed.

I commend you
by: David

I have to admit, I wish my ex were a lot like you. One who puts relationship with children over money. Of course, most are quite the opposit as you well know. In my case, I paid a rather small amount based on what I made at the time. Regardless, I paid on time every month and provided the necessary heath care. Unfortunately, my ex and I had a fight last summer and she ran straight to the Texas AG for an increase. Rest assured, they were more than willing to help her out.

Since our divorce in 2000, I went back to school to better myself. The pay off was a huge increase to my salary and now she gets a great portion of that. Going from $300.00 a month to $1200.00 for one child was quite a change in my lifestyle and drove me into bankruptcy.

Because my daughter was adopted through the state, my ex gets to keep $500.00 a month adoption subsidy as well. When I asked for them to explain how my ex would use $1700.00 a month one one kid, the AG was quick to say; "she don't have too".

Another trick the AG did was overstate my monthly income by $675.00 and have the Judge sign it. They refused to show me the amount they were seeking before it went to court. Once in court, I never had time to run the numbers before the order was signed. I have requested a computation sheet many times explaining how they came to that amount. They claim I have right to such documents. Come to find out, they calculated my income based on 26 pay periods for the year versus 24. Even though they made the mistake, they refused to correct it because the Judge already signed the order.

So, I will agree with you on one thing; this agency operates on their own set of principles and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Because this is family law, there's not an attorney out there who will go against the Texas Attorney General's office. They are by far the most corrupt agency I have ever experienced. What they don't realize is that someday they will push the wrong buttons of a disgruntle non-custodial parent and place themselves in harms way. However, such an attack might shed some light on those who abuse their authority.

Sadly enough, I have no more contact with my daughter. I don't necessarily blame her for all of this, but I refuse to deal with her mother in order to maintain a relatioship with her.

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