” Early in December 2017 the Texas Attorney General’s Office held a private meeting with a group from the Texas Father’s Rights Movement (“FRM”) at the Capital B Room E1 012 from 9 am- 12pm. The meeting was called to discuss ‘how destructive the collection process child support is’ and that it is damaging men and their ‘new families’. To conceal the event from public view the OAG requested that the FRM group remove an outreach video that it had posted on the internet as an invitation to the enthusiastic fathers of their base, who wish for and are in search of legal methods to prematurely end and decrease support to their minor children. They needed the meeting to be an invitation-only affair. The press was not to be invited. The public was not to be invited. It was made clear that this was NOT to be an open meeting.
At the helm of it all was Jeff Morgan, a resident of Dallas, the said coordinator of the event and of the video invitation which had to be taken down. Morgan deleted the post and later posted another video while reading a letter, indicating that it was from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. The letter informed him that while there would be no guarantee of “safe harbor” for non-custodial fathers who attended the meeting with active outstanding warrants for child support evasion, but that, per his request, no one would be “checked” for warrants, either.”
Excerpt from https://dontgetmadgetpaid.com/the-terrifying-rise-of-the-fathers-rights-movement/
For those of you who think I am beating this horse or subject to death in my blog posts, I am. But purposefully.
I need you to be fully aware of what we are fighting against. And I want my readers to understand that this agenda is not only well-organized but well-funded.
In part one of “Beating the Trojan Horse” I took you back not only to my piece on the Father’s Rights Movement but also the push from these organizations to make 50/50 shared parenting laws in all states for family courts to follow. This agenda is not only damaging to children but financially devastating to some single parents. And it is NOT going away anytime soon. The bill that was defeated in Florida this past legislative session was on it’s third try and the PAC behind it will have it introduced again next session.
Florida is not the only state fighting for and against 50/50.
Let’s turn our attention to Mr. Morgan’s home state of Texas.
Texas in the last Report to Congress is second in the nation for child support arrears at $16,928,274,680.00 BILLION DOLLARS owed to 1,723,910 IV-D child support “cases”.
Texas averages 24% childhood poverty- defined as below the Federal Poverty Threshold. This is ramen noodles are a luxury poor, as the Federal standard has not been updated since the ’60s.
But child support collection is “damaging men and their new families”. And this claim got Mr. Morgan and his henchmen a private audience with the Attorney General and 50/50 bills have been on the floor for the past two legislative sessions.
Who is pushing this agenda?
Well let’s look at this excerpt from the Texas Family Law Foundation, regarding the 85th Legislative session:
“Sometimes lobbyists are fortunate enough to have the opposition kill their own bill. But this fortune often comes at a price, or at least, it is not always pleasant. This bill, known as the “50/50” or “equal parenting” bill would have created a presumption that a 50/50 child custody order is in the best interest of the child and thus, removed significant judicial discretion in deciding custody arrangements. As you know, 50/50 may often be in the best interest of the child, but the parents must get along. The bill was brought to its author by persons associated with the Texas Father’s Rights Movement, Texans for Parental Equality, and Americans for Parental Equality.
By the end of February, the lobby team received death threats on Facebook, as well as an alarming phone call from a man who did not identify himself. We filed a report with the DPS, but that did not stop the groups from defaming us all over the Capitol and beyond, appearing at every committee hearing to testify on bills that had nothing to do with their issues, and harassing legislators and staff. By May, the men’s rights activists (MRAs) had managed to kill their own bill and demonstrate why a 50/50 parenting order would not have worked in their individual cases. However, it is worth noting that these groups have created the impression of a national movement and Texas is not immune. Interestingly, many of them also support ending no-fault divorce. There is little doubt that some of these MRAs may have been treated unfairly in their divorces, but the vast majority of them simply cannot stand paying child support to the “ex”. https://s3.amazonaws.com/membercentralcdn/sitedocuments/tfl/tfl/0829/787829.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIHKD6NT2OL2HNPMQ&Expires=1563848883&Signature=x4uA%2FQt59DwmaP6WT75eJLH8q7c%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22final%2Eforconversion%2EFAMLAW%2E%20BILLS%20THAT%20DID%20NOT%20PASS%20THE%2085TH%2E%20edited%2Epdf%22%3B%20filename%2A%3DUTF%2D8%27%27final%252Eforconversion%252EFAMLAW%252E%2520BILLS%2520THAT%2520DID%2520NOT%2520PASS%2520THE%252085TH%252E%2520edited%252Epdf
Despite such behavior in the 85th session, these MRG’s came right back for the 86th and 50/50 was on the table again. They will NOT STOP.
It is interesting to note that California in 1980 was the first state that mandated and favored 50/50 custody arrangements. And in 1988 after examining the results of 50/50 California became the first state to revoke the presumption of 50/50. The experiment in “fairness” didn’t even last a decade before the disastrous results could not be denied.
So why is this beast, that has failed miserably now being pushed into state legislator’s agenda nationwide?
It’s simple, follow the money all the way back to the selfish parents who want to keep it all. No matter who gets hurt on their way to the bank.
Something that did not work in the ’80s, in arguably the most liberal state in our nation is not likely to work in Texas, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado or any of our states.
How about instead of Father’s Rights or Mother’s Rights we have Children’s Rights?
Why don’t we recognize our children as human beings worthy of consideration? As having rights. Why don’t we protect our children from inappropriate custody rulings and subsequent financial abuse?
It is time to start asking some questions of our politicians and the bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS oversees the Administration for Children and Families and part of the mission of the ACF is: “We promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, individuals and communities with leadership and resources for compassionate, effective delivery of human services.”
The ACF oversees the Office of Child Support Enforcement, along with the Children’s Bureau, Office of Child Care, Office of Head Start and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.
Someone there should be interested in the rights of children.
Let’s make some noise together and find out!