CAN A CHILD OVER 12 DECIDE WHICH PARENT THEY WANT TO LIVE WITH?

MAT RUEDA LAW FIRM

CAN A CHILD OVER 12 DECIDE WHICH PARENT THEY WANT TO LIVE WITH?

The preference of your children cannot determine where they will live. That said, if your children are a little older and more mature, their preference might be considered. Ultimately, if their preference does not serve their best interests, a judge will not factor this into your custody arrangement. Even if the judge on your case were to consider your children’s opinions, he or she would also consider several other factors before making a decision, including:

  • The overall health and mental wellbeing of each parent and the children
  • The relationship between the children and each parent
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the children
  • The willingness of each parent to help facilitate a relationship between the children and their other parent
  • If there is a history of domestic violence or child abuse
  • If either parent has a history of substance abuse
  • If either parent has a history of interfering with the other’s visitation rights
  • The educational and social record of the children
  • The individual needs of each child

Why Children Are Not Allowed to Determine Custody

Children need healthy, consistent, and stable environments to thrive and, unfortunately, their preference might not be based on which parent can best provide that. Children might prefer to live with the parent who has more lax rules, a nicer home, a cooler car, or provides more allowance money. If a parent is trying to alienate the children from their other parent, this could also affect their decision. Therefore, judges generally do not give a lot of weight to a child’s preference.

Moreover, children already have a lot on their plate during a divorce. Having to choose a parent to live with will only increase their anxiety during this difficult time, which is why it is the court’s job to determine what is in their best interests.

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Holiday Visitation with Your Children: Texas Family Code Christmas Possession Schedule

MAT RUEDA LAW FIRM

Holiday Visitation with Your Children: Texas Family Code Christmas Possession Schedule

Now is the time to start working on your Holiday Schedule for visitation with your children during this wonderful time of year! Here is a reminder of the current Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Possession Order for Christmas:

The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart. The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Christmas Break:

(1) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;

(2) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

Texas child visitation orders may differ from the norm to accommodate family situations so you should always check your decree first! ‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly’!

 

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POSSIBLE TROUBLE RENEWING YOUR TEXAS DRIVERS LICENSE IF YOU OWE CHILD SUPPORT

 

MAT RUEDA LAW FIRM

POSSIBLE TROUBLE RENEWING YOUR TEXAS DRIVERS LICENSE IF YOU OWE CHILD SUPPORT

The court or Title IV-D agency may stay an order suspending a license conditioned on the individual’s compliance with:

  1. A reasonable repayment schedule that is incorporated in the order
  2. The requirements of a reissued and delivered subpoena
  3. The requirements of any court order pertaining to the possession of or access to a child

The court or Title IV-D agency may not stay an order unless the individual makes an immediate partial payment in an amount specified by the court or Title IV-D agency. The amount specified may not be less than $200.

A licensing authority that receives the information shall refuse to accept an application for issuance of a license to the obligor or renewal of an existing license of the obligor until the authority is notified by the child support agency that the obligor has:

  1. Paid all child support arrearages
  2. Made an immediate payment of not less than $200 toward child support arrearages owed and established with the agency a satisfactory repayment schedule for the remainder or is in compliance with a court order for payment of the arrearages
  3. Been granted an exemption as part of a court supervised plan to improve the obligor’s earnings and child support payment
  4. Successfully contested the denial of issuance or renewal of license

An order suspending a license rendered before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the order was rendered.

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10 MOST COMMON CHILD SUPPORT MISCONCEPTIONS IN TEXAS

10 MOST COMMON CHILD SUPPORT MISCONCEPTIONS IN TEXAS

 

MAT RUEDA LAW FIRM

10 MOST COMMON CHILD SUPPORT MISCONCEPTIONS IN TEXAS

If you are involved in any type of dispute involving child support in Texas you have probably been given advice from well-meaning family and friends about what your options and rights are. Unfortunately, some advice that may have been accurate in the past may not be accurate now and because each family law case presents a unique fact situation even completely accurate statements about something that happened to another person may not matter in your case. So, here are 10 child support misconceptions that we would like to clear up:

  1. The guy is always going to be ordered to pay child support.
  2. Child support must be set according to the guidelines in the Family Code.
  3. Whatever the Attorney General says goes.
  4. If you have equal custody of the children there will be no child support awarded.
  5. All of the child support paid to the state disbursement unit goes directly to the person caring for the child
  6. The person paying child support for the child should get credit for any money they spend that goes towards caring for the child.
  7. The person being paid child support can only spend that money on food, clothing, and shelter for the child.
  8. Once child support is set it cannot be changed.
  9. If you don’t have possession of your child you don’t have to pay child support.
  10. If you are being denied access to your child it doesn’t matter that you stop paying child support.

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How to Prove Common Law Marriage in Texas

Texas law includes provisions for common law or “informal marriages” that have not been formally certified by the state. These informal marriages, once proven, carry the same rights and responsibilities of formal marriage.

ELEMENTS OF A TEXAS COMMON LAW MARRIAGE

An informal marriage in Texas is a legal marriage but one that exists without the formalities or ceremony of a typical formal marriage. In order to prove that a common-law marriage exists, the parties must first demonstrate that they are legally eligible for marriage in the state of Texas. Legal eligibility requires the following:

  • Neither party is already married, either formally or informally, to anyone else at the time the marriage was created.
  • Both parties are at least 18 years old.
  • Neither party can have had a divorce in the previous 30 days.
  • The parties cannot be too closely related to one another.

If the parties are legally eligible for marriage, then they must meet three additional requirements to qualify as legally married.

  1. Both parties must mutually agree that they are married. You cannot marry someone else without their consent.
  • Both parties must tell other people that they are married. You can demonstrate this by, for example, introducing the other party as your spouse, co-signing leases as a married couple, or filing joint tax returns or credit card applications as spouses.
  • The parties must live together in Texas as husband and wife. If, for example, the parties acted as husband and wife in another state but did not present themselves as married to people in Texas, then the parties are not eligible for informal marriage in Texas.

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UNDERSTANDING CHILD SUPPORT IN TEXAS

UNDERSTANDING CHILD SUPPORT IN TEXAS

Factors That Determine Child Support

In Texas, the parent that makes the child support payment depends on which parent has physical custody. Typically, this means the custodial parent or the parent who spends the most amount of time with the child will receive support payments. Texas law has a statutory formula for establishing and calculating child support. The amount of money the noncustodial parent can expect to pay in child support depends on several factors.

Calculating Child Support Payments

If the noncustodial parent has more than one child or they are paying support for more than one child, the amount of income they will need to provide may be lower.

The Texas child support guideline states the following:

  • One child: 20% of the paying party’s net income
  • Two children: 25% of the paying party’s net income
  • Three children: 30% of the paying party’s net income
  • Four children: 35% of the paying party’s net income
  • Five children: 40% of the paying party’s net income
  • Six or more children: not less than 40% of the paying party’s net income

Child support is also dependent on the noncustodial parent’s monthly income minus tax deductions. Texas has a cap on the amount of monthly income that can be used when calculating child support. If a child has “proven needs” above the cap, a judge can order one or both parents to make up the difference.

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TEXAS CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION (WITHIN 3 YEARS)

MAT RUEDA LAW FIRM

TEXAS CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION (WITHIN 3 YEARS)

To increase or decrease payments there are specific requirements that must be met to modify a previous child support order. The requirements necessary to modify a prior child support order are:

  1. The circumstances of the child or an affected party have materially and substantially changed; or
  2. Three years have elapsed since the order was entered or last modified, and the amount of child support differs from the statutory guidelines by either 20% or $100.00.

Material and Substantial change in the circumstances of the child or an affected party must be clearly shown at trial. To prove a Substantial and Material change in circumstances, a conservator must show evidence at the final hearing of:

  1. The financial needs/expenses at the time of the divorce or prior modification for the children and the person affected, and;
  2. The financial needs/expenses at the time of the request for the modification.

If evidence of financial needs/expenses are not submitted and proved regarding both (1) the prior divorce/modification and (2) the recent modification, then no Substantial and Material change can be adequately proved.

If one conservator decides to file a modification of child support within three years just because the other conservative received a better job, it may be dismissed. At the end of the day a Court has broad discretion on determining what is Substantial and Material and may allow the case to be heard and give an unfavorable ruling, but if that occurs you will have the ability to appeal the judgment and request attorney’s fees. It is important to know in any family law case the Judge has extremely broad discretion and interprets case law in a way that he deems fit using the Best Interest Test.

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