Texas Needs to Redefine the State’s Role in Family Law
Texas children have become the pawn for self-interest groups and government programs through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Billions of misused tax dollars are being used to attack women through their children. The solution is to do away with gender-based funding incentives, provide oversight to the statutory courts (family and probate) and eliminate the practice of public employees forming private entities for personal gain.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program transformed welfare policy by reducing and shifting federal assistance away from the homes of mothers and children and into the homes of violent offenders. In an article entitled “How Federal Welfare Funding Drives Judicial Discretion in Child-Custody Determinations and Domestic Relations Matters” activists explain that this policy has backfired because the incentives are structured so that the state will only benefit if the children are removed from loving homes. Majority of the time, middle- upper class suburban white women are negatively impacted by these programs.
A fundamental ambiguity in family law is where the role of the state begins and ends. The state clearly takes responsibility for administering justice in criminal law, but by contrast, in civil law where private parties are in dispute, the state merely provides a forum and parties are expected to pay for the litigation. HHS programs offer services only to the noncustodial father seeking access, visitation or custody modifications at no cost.
Since 2007, the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott , has been marketing the p.a.p.a (Parenting and Paternity Awareness) curriculum through Access and Visitation grants in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The curriculum is designed to teach 6th-12th graders their legal “rights, responsibilities and realities of parenting” through these state mandated health classes, thanks to HB 2176, effective September 1, 2007.
The curriculum promotes conflict through the courts to obtain parental rights and leaning on the Attorney General to provide resources and services in order to gain custody of their children. This education resembles the American Humane Association, Department of Family Protective Services and New Day Services joint marketing materials to fathers in order to navigate them through the family court system and Child Protective Services (CPS) in order to gain legal rights while discrediting the mother in the process.
Texas Family Code legislation changes are driven by father’s rights groups and child custody evaluators to maintain confidentiality, immunity and produce income for state and private interests. As a result, parents are losing rights to their own children and the power is with the family courts. Due to lack of oversight and accountability of the family courts, children are ordered to unfit homes.
IDEAL FAMILY COURTS:
• The state has a vital role in protecting vulnerable people
• The state has a vital role in providing vehicles for dispute resolution
• The judge has a leadership role in structuring early intervention in high conflict cases
CURRENT TEXAS FAMILY COURTS:
• Violate due process of parties
• Inconsistent in rulings
• Mandate unnecessary court ordered services
• Sanction and blame domestic violence victims by taking children from the home (reversing interpretation of TFC 153.004)
• Promote theories not recognized in the DSM-5, generally against one gender, females – Parent Alienation
• Classify child abuse allegations as ‘high conflict’, instead of investigating claims.
• Courts discredit abuse evidence
• File custody motions sua sponte (on judge’s own account) in high conflict cases typically to the unfit home
• Restrict the geographic residency of the protective parent to local county only to ensure jurisdiction of the case.
• Refer to the ‘voice of a child’ importance, however listens to a child through a court appointed amicus or in private chambers of judge without record. Many times the child’s testimony is inaccurate.
• Appoint cherry picked therapists to child in order to report back to court with judgment of parents and not to provide therapy to the child
• Judge orders quasi-immunity amicus instead of ad litem for the child.
• Court orders parents to call county case worker instead of CPS if abuse allegations
• Eliminate arrearages owed by the non-custodial parent
• Divert child support from the family and redirect child support payments to pay the amicus and attorneys
• Attorneys and judges commit fraud, extortion, harassment and abuse of power- inside and outside the courthouse
• Sentence parents to jail and probation for manipulated unfounded charges
• Children are discharged from trusted therapists and ordered to only see the forensic therapist until 18 years old
• Dishonest attorneys request and are granted motion to seal cases outside the court’s protocol
• Enroll parents in Access and Visitation programs without their knowledge
• Use CPS, the Child Support Office, court ordered attorneys, Domestic Relations Office, and third party programs to keep families in conflict
• Ignore physical, sexual, neglect and emotional child abuse allegation accompanied with proof and sanction the protective parent by bankrupting the family and sending child to the abuser
• Ignore state statutes and/or interpret how the code applies – inconsistent and application varies from each case.
• Threaten children with juvenile detention center when their wishes are ignored and forced into unfit home
• Practice illegally and unethically to the detriment of children
Family courts and Child Protective Services are not designed to properly investigate crimes against children. Child custody evaluators charged in protecting children are not qualified and are trained by special interest groups to promote conflict in order to selfishly benefit financially instead of ruling for the best interest of the children. This could explain why Tarrant County, Texas overwhelmingly leads the state with the most confirmed allegations of child abuse.