This father has sat in jail in Texas for almost two months because he did not sell his truck. Josh is an advocate who fought for your parental rights to be protected from interference when you try to spend time with your children at school. Josh got HB 3145 passed last minute in the Texas legislature. It was introduced in March by Representative Toth and then passed and signed by Governor Abbott on June 7, 2019.
This Bill allows parents to spend lunch with their children at school even if they are a noncustodial parent and that is not their court-ordered time to be with their children, unless of course your court order specifically excludes this time. This can happen. If the court wishes to get around this they will. But for now, if your order says that you can attend school activities and that’s it, you can eat lunch with your child, attend field trips, and school performances.
Josh got this bill passed because the school hassled him for wanting to spend time with his children at school. They interpreted his orders as only meaning activities that the school labeled an activity, and said that lunch did not fall into this category. He then found out from other parents that they were being excluded from school performances and field trips as well. So he took this issue to his legislature and got this defined in the Texas Family Code. You can see the actual language in the Bill below.
But there you have it, a father, a parent who took the time to do more than just complain. He took action, got this in front of his legiatlator, Representative Toth, and got this Bill passed.
Now Josh is sitting in jail under a 1800 day sentence. He was told on September 26, 2019 by the judge that he did not qualify for an attorney, was not indigent, and that he had the ability to pay, despite being thousands of dollars in debt after a several year battle to protect his children’s rights to spend maximum time with their father. Josh explained to the judge that he was still recovering from that several year battle, and had struggled to get his finances stable since also being ordered to pay several hundreds of dollars in child support.
Did it matter that Josh was receiving help with his bills? Yep, it hurt him actually. Because the people helping Josh were not paying that money to the State, the judge made the determination that Josh had the ability to pay. How much you want to bet that when Josh gets out that he doesn’t propose another bill this time to limit the state from taking aid or charity that a noncustodial ends up needing after the courts and your ex drive you into bankruptcy trying to take your children.
A custodial parent who does not have the money to support themselves and their children receives state funded aid, they are not asked to pay this back, and they are not asked to send the money that is provided to them by the government to someone else. They are seen as needy. They are seen as providing for the children by physically caring for the children.
Josh tried to make the same argument, that he physically cares for the children and that he was in need. The problem is that this is not what the law looks at is it?
Nope, the law is intentionally set up so that none of this is a valid defense.
The only defense the law allows are provided in Section 157.008 and .006 of the Texas Family Code. How the judge interprets these sections is up tot he judge. And in Josh’s case he was found to have the ability to pay despite being sued by creditors for a credit card that had been used in the past to try and keep up with these child support payments and survive. Josh has not had any money to even buy himself new clothes for over 3 years, he doesn’t not own boats and other extras in life. He even testified that he doesn’t have pleasures in life, he works to support his children and be with his children. Josh’s primary support comes from the time he directly spends with his children.
The court has spoken and when there is a conflict between the time you spend with your children and money the state wants you to pay, the money prevails.
Josh fought for you and your rights. Will you fight to protect him now?
Will you take action as he did? Will you make a donation to his jail fund so that he can call his children from jail. Josh is running out of money and he needs your help now to keep the funds flowing so that he can continue to talk to his boys. You can go here to make that donation: #FreeJoshJaros GoFundMe
You can read the test of the lunch bill, HB3145 that Josh got passed here:
By: Toth H.B. No. 3145
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to the right of a parent appointed as a conservator of a
child to attend school activities.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 153.073(a), Family Code, is amended to
read as follows:
(a) Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as a
conservator of a child has at all times the right:
(1) to receive information from any other conservator
of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the
(2) to confer with the other parent to the extent
possible before making a decision concerning the health, education,
and welfare of the child;
(3) of access to medical, dental, psychological, and
educational records of the child;
(4) to consult with a physician, dentist, or
psychologist of the child;
(5) to consult with school officials concerning the
child’s welfare and educational status, including school
(6) to attend school activities, including school
lunches, performances, and field trips;
(7) to be designated on the child’s records as a person
to be notified in case of an emergency;
(8) to consent to medical, dental, and surgical
treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the
health and safety of the child; and
(9) to manage the estate of the child to the extent the
estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
You can find the bill here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/HB03145I.htm 86R12764 EAS-F