Daily Archives: November 11, 2018


Prison 007 2
Many people assume that the attorney general stops enforcing child support arrears when the child turns 18. Often, however, this is not the case, and can lead to some scary situations for people who are unprepared. In Texas, the law states that the court maintains their jurisdiction for up to 2 years after the obligation ends. That means that an enforcement action can be filed well after the actual child support obligation ends, and even further than that, the action itself can stretch years longer. I just argued a case recently where an enforcement action was filed barely within the 2 year deadline, but they were not able to serve the non-custodial parent for almost another 2 years. This meant that I was in front of a judge arguing for why my client should not be sent to jail for repayment of a debt to a parent with whom the child no longer lived, and did not support the child in any way. The silver lining for my client was that he was determined to be fully disabled and was on veteran’s disability and the judge refrained from enforcing a jail sentence, but it was a scary situation for my client nevertheless. As crazy as it sounds that the state can jail you to enforce a private debt that in no way benefits the child, the bottom line is that it CAN happen at the moment, and it is important to be aware of that. Additionally, even beyond the 2 year time limitation, even if the debt cannot be enforced via a jail sentence it doesn’t go away. Tax refunds, bonds, and any other mechanisms available of enforcing civil judgments are still available to be used, and interest still accrues during this time. It is very easy to get buried in […]

Time limitations on enforcement of child support arrears


Prevent Child Abuse 1
Child abuse is something that affects more children than most are aware of, and it is up to everyone to help protect children from these situations. Beyond that, it is an obligation under the law to report children who you suspect are being abused. One of the primary issues that people have, though, is being unaware of signs that children around them may be being abused. Here are some common signs that a child may be being abused: Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the child’s injuries from authorities. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, […]

Tips for Recognizing Child Abuse



Child Abuse 2 1
A Michigan woman is on a mission to make a public registry to search for convicted of child abuse. Erica Hammel’s son Wyatt was severely injured and left disabled after his father’s then-girlfriend shook him. The girlfriend had been twice previously convicted for child abuse and did not have custody of her own children.   The Department of Human Services in Michigan already has a registry of people investigated or convicted of child abuse or neglect, however, child welfare attorney Elizabeth Warner says that the registry has issues – under-inclusion and over-inclusion being a few of them.   The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment act requires all states to have a tracking system, which can be used for screening potential foster or adoptive parents.   While a public registry seems like a good idea, registries always have issues – such as people being on the registries who don’t belong there, or vigilante neighborhood justice against people who may be on the list for an issue like the family we talked about earlier – who are involved in the CPS system for letting their children walk home unattended from the park.   Source: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2015/02/14/mother-crusades-statewide-child-abuse-registry/23425805/

A Public Child Abuse Registry?