Enforcement

7 posts

Divorce Gavel

Post-Divorce Proceedings And What They Can Mean

The process of a divorce is long and can be drawn out depending on whether both parties agree to terms or not.  A variety of other factors can complicate the process.  When the divorce decree is finally signed, a lot of people believe that the process is over.  This isn’t always the case. Often times divorce decrees come with terms and conditions that need to be followed such as property terms.  When one or both parties fail to comply with the decree, Texas Family Code Chapter 9 provides specific methods for dealing with such a situation. Either party can request that the Family Code be enforced.  This is done through filing a new lawsuit.  For those under a court-approved agreement, you can also file.  Chapter 9 filings do not bring with them the right to a jury trial.  Trial by a judge is the typical method of governance of such trial. The ability to file has been ruled by the courts as a result of enforcement of a prior lawsuit.  The case is not a criminal case but instead is under the Rules of Civil Procedure. In order to file for a personal property enforcement suit, one must file within […]

No fault divorce courtroom

No-Fault Divorces In Texas May Become Harder After New Bill

In Texas, a no-fault divorce is the default mechanism to request a divorce.  Officially by Texas law, a no-fault divorce is when there are conflicts between two parties that could not reasonably be overcome.  In reality, it is simply the type of divorce two people seek when they are looking to get out of a marriage, and serves as a mechanism to ending a marriage with the least amount of drama. It also provides an avenue for victims of abuse to leave a marriage without a burden of proving anything beyond that the marriage itself is unsustainable. State Representative Matt Krause is attempting to pass two bills in 2017.  The first bill increases the amount of time that two people must wait before a divorce is finalized.  This is in an attempt to get a couple to work out of their problems, instead of a divorce. The second bill that Rep. Matt Krause is putting forward will make it hard for all people to get a divorce.  This bill would make divorce only possible for criminal reasons such as abuse and adultery.  While Mr. Krause states he isn’t trying to deter people from getting divorces, he also says he hopes […]

Child Support and Debtor's Prisons

Time limitations on enforcement of child support arrears

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 […]

Child Support and Debtor's Prisons

Child Support and Debtor’s Prisons

A friend of mine asked me the other day which type of cases I found most emotionally draining. I had to think about it for a minute, but I eventually came to the conclusion that while termination cases can be heart wrenching at times, and divorces can be full of drama, it was my experiences in IV-D (Child support) court trying to defend against enforcement actions that often were the most DIFFICULT for me emotionally. The reason for this is twofold: First, there is the lack of defense. Believe it or not, I chose to be a lawyer because I want to help people with their problems, and finding defenses for clients defending against the state in child support actions basically amounts to begging for leniency most of the time. That is not to say that it isn’t successful, but the best defenses are somewhat based around the idea that sending people to jail rarely gathers more money, so therefore its best to leave people in the free so that they can work. The actual statutory defense of “inability to pay”, which is the actual reason 99 percent of people aren’t paying, is virtually impossible to prove as an affirmative defense […]