Child Support


divorce
 Getting a divorce is a serious step in life, and for sure you won’t be undergoing a Texas Divorce for no reason. There could be one big reason or a hundred little things that made you decide to embark on the process of getting a Texas divorce. It can be messy and complicated especially when you get to the part where your marital properties and assets are to be divided.  Let’s say you have a strong reason for getting a Texas divorce. Would it then be possible for you to get a bigger or better share of your marital properties?   Reason for Divorce and its Effect on Your Finances   It is possible to get a Texas divorce despite having no strong reason for it. You can simply go to court and get a divorce by stating that you have irreconcilable differences or that you simply can’t get along with your spouse. This is pretty common and this kind of divorce is considered a ‘no fault’ divorce.   There are also some faults that can be considered as grounds for divorce, such as adultery. When you find out that your spouse is not being faithful to you, you can definitely go for divorce. Once you assert that the reason why you’re getting a divorce is adultery, you need to present proof to the judge. After you have proven your allegations to the judge, the judge will then decide whether or not to award you a disproportionate share of your marital properties. You will be given a share that is considered ‘just and right’ for your situation.   Effect of Infidelity on Property Division   When you are sure that your spouse has been unfaithful to you, you can file for a divorce. It would be best to include proof […]

How To Maximize Your Share of Your Marital Estate in a Texas Divorce


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Divorce can be a very long process and it is full of twists and turns.  It doesn’t help that there are a variety of different ways that you can go about the process.  One step that you might encounter in the process is mediation.  In today’s article, you will learn about the process of mediation in a divorce and what it is like. What is Divorce Mediation? In a divorce mediation, a third party is brought in to objectively help both sides of the divorce to reach a settlement.  This third party is a neutral person and is called a mediator. A mediator will work with both parties to come to an agreement in the following areas: Child Support Custody Visitation Alimony Division of Property Business Allocation What Does a Mediation Process Look Like? Each mediator will run the process slightly different.  Many mediators will want to meet with each party individually before the process begins.  This allows them to learn about the case and the party.  It helps the mediator to develop the background information they need to make the process fair. During the process the mediator will determine where you and the other party(s) agree and disagree.  Areas where you agree will be taken care of quickly while others might require documentation and negotiation.  The mediator will guide the parties through the negotiations.  Part of their job is to come up with unique resolutions to conflicts. When is Mediation Used? Mediation is used in most divorce cases to determine the division of physical and monetary assets along with custody of children.  In many counties in Texas you will be required to attempt mediation before you are allowed to take asset division to court. Travis County is an example of a county that requires mediation.  However, it only requires […]

Divorce And The Mediation Process



dna
It can be pretty horrible when you’re just minding your own business and you suddenly receive a letter from the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division, demanding that you pay thousands of dollars in child support. It would feel as if your world has turned upside down in a matter of seconds. To make it worse, the letter informs you that you have been delinquent in paying child support. It’s a sticky situation, especially when you know in your soul and conscience that you are not a father – you are certain that you do not have a child. Does this shocking situation sound familiar? No, it’s not a plot of a movie, this really happens in real life. Of course, cases that require paternity determination do not always unfold like this, but you get the point: it’s pretty complicated. If you are in a similar situation, or if you know someone who is in a situation similar to the one we mentioned above, you need to understand that the  situation calls for a family law attorney. Legal advice would certainly be necessary to sort out the case. In cases such as the one mentioned in our scenario above, the ‘father’ can be absolutely certain that he does not have a child out of wedlock. In most cases, he would know the person listed as the mother of the child. It could be an old friend, an old classmate or a colleague. It’s possible for these cases to arise even if he was never in a romantic relationship with the mother of the child. That’s just the way our world is today. If you find yourself in this situation, it would help if you know what to do.   What to Do When You’re Suddenly a Father (But You Think […]

Paternity and DNA Testing in Texas: What You Need to Know


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


CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
Part 1 and 2 of this section will handle those particular CPS issues, which include special topics. Special topics are but are not limited to: parents who have special physical or intellectual needs or who live with a mental illness; Fathers, especially fathers who don’t see their children, teenage parents, or parents who are in prison may also have questions specific to their situation. This section includes information to address these more individual issues. A. Parents with Disabilities or Special Needs It is important to be aware of whether you are a parent with a disability or special need because The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to CPS cases. Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg, usually are not covered. Additionally, any condition relating from the abuse of drugs or alcohol is not covered. The ADA defines a disability as a condition that “substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA does not give a list of all the possible disabilities or special needs. Instead, the law covers “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” If you know (or think) you have a disability or special need, then you need to tell your lawyer so she can tell CPS and the court. Examples of disabilities that may be protected by the ADA are: psychiatric or mental impairments such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, Back or spinal injury, migraine headaches, epilepsy, diabetes, vision and hearing impairments. What Does it Mean for Your Case? It is true that CPS is more likely to get involved with parents with disabilities or special needs since CPS workers must take reasonable steps to make sure that parents understand what is going on in their case. This is especially true for parents with special needs who may require “accommodations.” […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Disability and Inability to Care



A Quick Guide to Divorce
Divorce, Custody, and Visitation in Texas: What You Need To Know Going through a divorce is hard business.  People from all around Texas and the rest of the country would agree with you on this.  It is easier though if you know what to expect.  Hopefully this can provide some information so that you can better know what to expect from a divorce, and what you need to know about custody and visitation in Texas. Divorce in Texas Divorce is the legal separation of a marriage.  In Texas divorce is also commonly referred to as the dissolution of marriage.  There are two different types of divorce: fault divorce and no-fault divorce.  Both of these types of divorce are fairly explanatory.  A fault divorce implies that one or both parties did something that would cause them to no longer want to be together.  A no-fault divorce is when both parties mutually decide that they no longer want to be together. The process of a divorce is one that is done through the court system.  In Texas, one of the parties seeking divorce will file a petition for divorce.  Typically, both parties hire lawyers and negotiated either in a courtroom or through arbitration.  After 60 days from filing with the court, a judge can decide to accept a negotiated divorce. When a petition for divorce is sought, the petitioning party can request a temporary restraining order for their protection.  The order requires that assets not be sold off before an agreement is reached.  It also requires that both parties act civilly toward each other. Before any trials begin, the parties in a divorce are required to attempt to find a resolution via mediation.  Mediation is conducted by a neutral third party.  Many divorce cases get settled in mediation because it makes it easier […]

Divorce, Custody, and Visitation in Texas


Texas Paternity FAQ
Frequently Asked Legal Questions About Paternity in Texas There are a lot of questions about paternity in Texas that get asked regularly.  We wanted to save people a little bit of googling and try answer as few of the most common ones in one place.  This guide to the frequently asked legal questions about paternity in Texas is meant to aid you but not to replace the role of an attorney. Define Paternity For Me? When a baby is born and there are questions about the father, you seek to establish paternity.  Paternity is, therefore, the legal identification of who the father of a child is.  This process is typically done through genetic matching of the child’s DNA to the father’s DNA. Is Paternity Testing Only Performed On Babies? While paternity testing is typically performed on babies it has been used to test kids of any age.  This helps to establish who the father is no matter what the situation is. Can You Force A Paternity Test? The short answer is yes, you can force a paternity test.  To do this you need to petition the court for a court ordered paternity test.  This order can also include conditions for what will happen if the paternity test comes back as a match.  Here are some of the conditions that might be attached: custody, visitation, child support, medical support, and/or legal support. Who Can File For A Paternity Order or Case? The following people can file for a paternity order or a paternity case: The mother of the child in question A man who believes he is the father A man who is believed to be the father The child (if of reasonable age) The approved parent in a legal agreement The legal custodian or guardian of the child A government agency […]

Texas Paternity FAQ