Child Support


father and child
There are times that when a couple is not married but have children, the child will not have an acknowledged legal father. This is because Paternity is not yet established. In the eyes of the law, Paternity should be established in order for a child to have a legal father, even without the child’s parents marrying. For a brief background, Paternity covers the state of being a father to a person. When Paternity is established in a family, the father’s name will be indicated in the birth certificate of the child. In the same manner, the father will also have certain rights to the child. Paternity Order There is a possibility that the child’s biological father who is no longer in good terms with the family will be replaced by the new standing father in the family. When this happens, the best document that the spouses must acquire in is the Paternity Order. In Texas, Paternity is acquired when one gets a paternity order. This will be the indication to who will be the child’s father in the family that will be generally accepted in all referring documents, and to all references that will need the name of the father. Paternity orders will include the terms of the visitation, financial support, medical support and custody of the child. It is important to note however that the spouses are also presented with the option to only establish Paternity, without having to pass a Paternity Order in the court. Acknowledgment of Paternity Paternity will be acknowledged in this manner if the parents are in good terms and are willing to sign a certain document that will establish that the parent is the legal father of the child. This document is called the “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” This must be signed by both parties, […]

What is Paternity?


mother holding child
Child support is the continuous payment made periodically by a parent for the benefit of the child. Different states provide different ways under their law on how to apply for a child support order. In Texas, the process of child support can overwhelm someone who does not have any idea what to expect. Being able to know what step will come next is helpful in preparing and going through the whole process. The following are the important steps in the process: Establishing of Paternity This is one of the most essential and important parts of a case for child support. Paternity is defined as  “legal fatherhood.” The establishment of paternity can help fathers have not only a legal relationship but also an emotional bond with the child or children. This process benefits the whole family. It is also important to remember that for parents that are unmarried, the birth father does not have any legal rights over the child until after paternity is established. Obtain a Court Order A person who wishes to file for support order must be file before the court  where the child lives. If the child is in another state, and the noncustodial parent lives in Texas, then the filing must take place in in the county where the other parent lives. Fill out the correct petition form for child support. The full names of each child, their birthdates, the one filing for child support’s name, his or her Social Security number and driver’s license, and the other parent’s name and address are the information that will be needed in the form. Some forms may need to be notarized. After notarization, make several copies before filing them with the court clerk. The court clerk will stamp on all the copies with the date of when they […]

How to File a Support Order in Texas



Responsibilities of the Custodial Parent
A custodial parent is the one who has the sole physical custody of the child or the one with whom the child lives with for the most part. Custodial parenting involves a lot of responsibility which is just similar to any other aspect of being a dad or mom. Even if the parents of the child are on good terms, it is still a good idea to consider other options when it comes to the custody of the child and know and learn the law before one would need it.  Other than the basic duties that a parent should give to a child such as providing the primary needs, rearing the child into becoming a better citizen and of course, loving them and making sure they are well taken care of, the following are some duties and responsibilities that a custodial parent should do: Consider the Best Interests of the Child The legal standard on which most, if not all, family court decisions are based are the child’s best interests. This means doing what is best to make sure that the child will grow happy and healthy. This may refer to placing the needs of the child above anything else. All actions of any parent, custodial or non-custodial should be based on this standard. Discuss Important Matters with the Non-Custodial Parent Having joint custody requires the custodial parent to discuss with the non-custodial parent matters that significantly affect the child. This includes change in residence or where to send the child for school. Raising a child is no easy task and the non-custodial parent should be involved in every step of the way. Honest discussions between the two parents regarding their take on handling different issues that result from raising children is the key to a good parenting plan. This […]

Responsibilities of the Custodial Parent


summary proceedings
A summary judgment is when a court disposes a case either because the party who filed the lawsuit or the petitioner does not have enough evidence to win the case or because a responding party or the respondent does not have a clear and proper defense to the allegations brought against him or her by the former.  One of the parties can basically file for a motion for summary judgment to dispose of the case if the opposing party does not have any strong evidence to support their arguments in the case.  This is applicable in family law cases.  If the case deals with more than one issue, the parties can decide to have some of them decided via a motion for summary judgment before trial.  Chances of settling also increases with the help of filing a motion for summary judgment. This is because summary judgment removes certain issues which the opposing party may argue about. This basically limits what a party has to present during trial. Traditional Summary Judgment vs. No Evidence Summary Judgment There are two different types of motions for summary judgment. These are the traditional summary judgment and the no evidence summary judgment.  A traditional summary judgment is when a party with the burden of proof may file for a motion of summary judgment by proving that he or she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law by establishing affirmative defense or presenting each of the element of his or her own claim.  Most, if not all, traditional summary judgments have to be backed by summary judgment evidence that is competent.  On the other hand, a no evidence summary judgement, the party without the burden of proof is stating to the court that the opposing party has no affirmative defense or no evidence to […]

What is a Summary Judgment in Texas?



Responsibilities of the Non-Custodial Parent
A non-custodial parent is the one who does not have primary physical custody over his or her children. However, it is possible for a non-custodial parent to have legal custody, even though he or she lacks physical custody of the children. Many non-custodial parents are actively involved in the lives of their children and they also  enjoy liberal visitation rights and they pay child support. Other than the basic duties that a parent should give to a child such as providing the primary needs, rearing the child into becoming a better citizen and of course, loving them and making sure they are well taken care of, the following are some duties and responsibilities that a non-custodial parent should do: Put the Best Interests of the Child The legal standard on which most, if not all, family court decisions are based are the child’s best interests. This means doing what is best to make sure that the child will grow happy and healthy. This may refer to placing the needs of the child above anything else. All actions of any parent, custodial or non-custodial should be based on this standard. Follow the Supervised Visitation Schedule It is important that the non-custodial parent follow the visitation schedule whether supervised or not. Supervised visitation is a court-ordered visitation with a third-party and which often takes place in a public area. Non-custodial parents should make a habit to make a routine with the child or children best by developing a routine with them. This include buying the child’s favorite food and snacks and make sure the child has activities to do and places to go such as going to the movies, playing games or  sporting events. Pay Child Support and Monitor the Payment  Non-custodial parents who has been ordered to pay child support may […]

Responsibilities of the Non-Custodial Parent


Knowing What’s In Your Child’s Best Interests
Your child’s best interests will always be a key point in your divorce and child custody cases. As you are well aware, your child feels the impact of the divorce even more than you do. It’s really a sad reality that you have to accept and deal with properly. You and your spouse can have some control over the circumstances that affect your divorce, but your child is completely helpless. It is quite common for children to feel confused and misplaced when their parents are undergoing a divorce. As a parent, you obviously would want to protect your children. The divorce probably happened because you want to protect your children from your spouse’s wrongdoings or abusive behavior. Knowing what’s in your child’s best interests would definitely help in ensuring that they can have a normal life during and after the divorce. The conflicts and the many issues that you will have to deal with throughout the duration of your divorce could take its toll on you. You might lose sight of the fact that your children are your priority. You could be blinded by things that you will fail to recognize what’s in your child’s best interests. How can you play your divorce according to your child’s best interests? 1. Avoid the Courthouse It might come as a surprise to many that a lot of divorce cases don’t get into the courtroom. Contrary to what movies and television depict, most divorces actually end in settlement, hence, there’s no need to pay a visit to the judge. The only problem with this option is that you might find it difficult to deal with your spouse when you are still at the peak of your anger. If your spouse has terribly wronged you, it can be quite uncomfortable to work together to […]

Focusing on Your Child’s Best Interests



child support stress
Child support is a responsibility of any parent. You could be having many different financial obligations so it’s quite natural to worry about how much child support will cost you. There will surely be many questions that will keep crossing your mind. These questions, you can always ask your lawyer for guidance, or you can check out our many articles on child support for more information too. The most common question family law attorneys get regarding child support is basically how much it would cost. Some people usually wonder if they will have to pay child support from the income they garner from overtime, and some also ask if it’s possible for them to reduce their overall income to avoid paying a higher amount of support. Calculating the Child Support Amount When we are looking for the answer to the above questions, we can always refer to the Texas Family Code. The Texas Family Code states that the annual gross income must be computed then recomputed to determine the gross income per month. The net income will need to be determined before the child support amount will be determined. Everything from wage or salary will be included in the computation including overtime page, tips, commissions, bonuses, royalty, retirement benefits, pensions, trust, severance pay, rental income, dividends and social security benefits will be included in the computation initially. This means that in computation, you will need to start by adding up all the income you’ve received for the entire year. You will then have to determine the net income, which means that you have to deduct the federal income taxes, state income tax, security taxes, medical insurance premiums and most of your regular deductions before the child support amount will be calculated. So basically, the answer to the most common child […]

Child Support: Overtime, Bonuses, and Guideline Calculations


How to Plan Your Estate When You are a Single Parent
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a parent and more so if a person is a single parent. One would constantly worry about what would happen to their children if they unexpectedly pass away and who would take care of them. Thoughtful estate planning is crucial for parents of all kinds. However, for single parents, an extensive and legally compliant estate plan is essential to ensure that their plans and wishes with regard to their estate are thoroughly carried out. Prepare Wills Estate planning for a single parent, in a lot of ways, is similar to the estate planning for married parents. All parents should have a valid will for the disposal of their property. A will can contain the financial plan for the care of their children and the name the legal guardian or guardians that they wish to designate to look after their children. The main difference between these two types of parents when it comes to wills is the issue whether the surviving parent of the child will be the one responsible for him or her. In any case, If any parent does not have a will, the estate will be divided and distributed according to the plan of the state. Financial Arrangements When an inheritance is likely, distributing one’s assets by way of a traditional will may not be the best option for a single parent. In these cases, the ability of the children to manage their inheritance responsibly might be concern of most parents. There should be a revocable living trust that holds assets which will be under the control of a person called the trustee. The trustee is designated by the parent. He or she has the duty to hold the inheritance in trust for the benefit of the child. […]

How to Plan Your Estate When You are a Single Parent