Attorney recognized for child advocacy
Photo courtesy of the Office of the Texas Attorney General - First Assistant Attorney General Daniel Hodge presents the ‘Assistant Attorney General of the Year’ award to Rebecca Wadas at the Statewide Assistant Attorneys General Conference in Austin.
PLANO -- Rebecca Wadas, a Plano attorney, has worked for seven years to make sure children receive the financial and medical support they need from absent parents.
This week her efforts paid off when she was named Assistant Attorney General of the Year for her work with the Attorney General's Child Support Division in Plano. Wadas received her award on Wednesday at a conference in Austin.
"I'm surprised and honored," Wadas said during a phone interview from Austin. "There are so many great lawyers here, so to be recognized by my peers is pretty special."
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott singled out Wadas for her commitment to children in the Child Support Division's Arlington region, which serves families in 12 counties including Collin, Cooke, Denton and Rockwall counties.
"Rebecca Wadas's hard work and dedication help ensure thousands of young Texans receive the child support they need to become healthy, successful adults," Abbott said in a released statement Thursday. "A committed and selfless public servant, Rebecca stands out as one of the state's most dedicated and impressive lawyers. We are grateful to Rebecca Wadas for her commitment to Texas children."
Wadas was selected for the honor along with nine other assistant attorneys general from child support regions across Texas. Each one was nominated by their respective offices for exceeding expectations in an ongoing mission to help children.
"It is certainly a great compliment to the attorney that is given this award, because they're competing with many other attorneys in their region," said Janece Rolfe, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General, adding there are 26 attorneys in the Arlington region.
A graduate of Vermont Law School, Wadas has been an employee of the Office of the Attorney General since 2004. Rolfe said some attorneys wait nearly two decades to receive this kind of recognition, which makes Wadas a recipient with relatively shorter tenure.
"My favorite part is knowing that I'm helping, first of all, but also I like the fast pace of it and that I'm meeting new people every day," Wadas said.
Her main objective as an assistant attorney general is to establish child support between unmarried parents, and often that requires the use of court orders. In the previous fiscal year, her office handled more than 30,000 cases and collected $81 million. Wadas helps to handle some of the more difficult cases in the Plano Child Support Division.
"In Collin County, a lot of the people are maybe more affluent or legally savvy," Wadas said. "We probably see a lot more cases where both parents want to be involved and are fighting over these issues."
Wadas said she deals with cases that become more complex if one parent is an entrepreneur or self-employed. Her office also handles some clients where one parent is living outside of Texas and needs to be tracked down.
Paula Crockett, senior regional attorney for the Child Support Division's Arlington region, pointed to Wadas' patience as a reason why she has excelled in the division.
"Rebecca has a remarkably calm and rational temperament," Crockett said in a released statement. "She doesn't let the stress of intense court situations distract her from the goal of collecting child support for the children of Texas."
The Attorney General's Child Support Division helps families establish paternity and collect and distribute child support payments. Information about other services can be found by visiting www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or by calling 800-252-8014.
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