Archive for December, 2018







How Long Will I Pay Child Support?

Texas Family Code Section 154.001 provides the requirements of how long one must pay child support. Generally, most fathers pay child support until the child emancipates which means they turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever occurs later. Therefore, if your child is 18 but still enrolled in high school, then you can be ordered to continue paying support until graduation month. However, if you have a child who is disabled, you could potentially pay support for as long as that disability persists.

What about Retroactive Child Support?

It is not uncommon that we see cases where the parent seeking support is also asking for retroactive child support. This means that you are not only going to pay child support but you are also going to have an additional lump sum amount that you will be paying on. Retroactive child support is awarded when you have a case where the child is a little bit older and paternity has never been established. It can also apply if you have final orders, marry or remarry the mother of the child, and then subsequently separate. The same guidelines apply as when calculating regular support so they would take 20% of your monthly net and calculate that back as far as 4 years. Sometimes, considering factors within the Texas Family Code, the court can order you to pay back to birth. With an older child, you can understand how problematic and expensive that can become.

Leave a comment



While a child visitation agreement establishes the amount of time that a child spends with each parent, there are many cases when custodial parents—without any cause whatsoever—prevent noncustodial parents from seeing their kids for weeks, months, and even years.

Fortunately, there are options to remedy these types of situations. It is imperative for noncustodial parents to fight for their rights granted by the court.

• Keep track of any missed visitation time – Any time visitation was denied, you should record the dates in a calendar, notebook, or even an online document. Additionally, keep copies of any correspondence with your ex-spouse, so make sure you act composed and calm each time you two interact.
• Attempt to resolve the issue on your own –Attempt to schedule make-up dates for any lost time, which is why it is important to document missed time.
• Go to court – If your ex-spouse continues to withhold support, you can raise the issue before a judge. By filing a motion to enforce, the court will issue an order to make up any time missed, as well as order the cost of court and attorney fees to your ex.

Withholding child support as retaliation is never a good idea. Child support and visitation are not related because your child is legally entitled to financial support—not the custodial parent. If you stop paying child support, it is considered a violation of a court order, which could result in you being held in contempt.

Leave a comment



Some of the decisions the managing conservator is responsible for include consenting to any medical treatments. This includes dental work and any kind of mental health treatments. The managing conservator is also the parent who is listed as the emergency contact for any places that require one, such as schools, daycares or extracurricular activities.

The managing conservator also has the right to decide where the child will live and where and how the child will be educated. This is an important point for noncustodial parents, also called possessory conservators, who object to a child’s relocation or method of schooling. While the possessory conservator may be able to fight the issue in the courts, he or she will usually have to show that the managing conservator’s decision is harmful to the child.

Today, joint custody arrangements are very common, but a sole managing conservatorship may be needed if there is a history of family violence, neglect, substance abuse or criminal activity in one parent’s life. Sole managing conservatorships are also sometimes granted in cases where the parents have a history of being unable to work together on decisions involving the children or a parent has been gone from the child’s life for an extended period of time.


Leave a comment


Avoiding litigation is a worthy goal. Methods of alternate dispute resolution are available to families, allowing them to avoid the costly and time-consuming court process.

Two Forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution are Mediation & Arbitration

About Mediation

Mediation is the process of allowing a neutral third party or “mediator” to help both parties in a dispute resolve their differences in a controlled setting where cooperation and mutual satisfaction is the goal. The mediator does not advocate on behalf of either party or force a settlement or decision. The mediator simply suggests dispute resolution methods and ideas in order to facilitate discussion and collaboration.

About Arbitration

Arbitration involves the oversight of a third party or “arbitrator” over a family law case. Both parties are typically represented by their respective attorneys. The parties either voluntarily agree to abide by the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators who oversee their case, or to simply view the decision of the arbitrator as in an advisory light. Should the parties agree to abide by the decision or “award,” then this is enforceable in court.

Leave a comment




Sometimes, when both parents spend an equal amount of time with the children post-divorce, they are able to work out an agreement where financial support is not a necessity. However, despite the civility of equal custody, sometimes a parent is still required to pay child support.


The family code in Texas has provisions in it that allow for child support agreements to be changed. As time goes on, situations evolve, and there could be several reasons why a judge would need to look back on the case and adjust.


Most Child Support Orders contain a clause that provides that payments made outside of the agency may not be given credit towards the child support obligation. Direct payments could result in having to basically pay double support.


Support payments and possession may be connected, but if one party is denied access to the child, this doesn’t mean that you simply stop paying child support payments.


The Family Code in Texas is not gender-specific. The code states nothing about specific roles that need to be played by either the mother or the father in the family. The judge in a case will determine who pays and in what amount. This is done by examining specific factors in the case and not one of them being the gender of a parent.

Leave a comment

Texas Divorce: What You Should Know

Texas Divorce: What You Should Know

Key facts about getting a divorce in Texas.

What is the residency requirement for divorce in Texas?

At least one spouse must be a resident of Texas for six months before filing for divorce.

How is property divided at divorce in Texas?

Texas is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property bought with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. At divorce, the property may be divided equally between the spouses or partners.

What are the rules about child custody in Texas?

Like all states, Texas courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children’s best interests.

What are the rules about child support in Texas?

Like all states, Texas requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will “impute” income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning.

Leave a comment

How to Stop Child Support Payments in Texas

How to Stop Child Support Payments in Texas

Here are the main reasons for how you can you stop paying child support and the typical means by which child support is terminated.

In Texas, can I stop paying child support when my child turns 18?

The general answer is Yes. When this situation occurs, it means your child has reached what the legal world calls “age of majority.” In Texas, when a child reaches their state’s age of majority, they’re capable of making their own legal and financial decisions. The court terminate support when the child has turned 18 or has graduated from high school, whichever comes later.

Exceptions to when you can terminate child support in Texas

Early termination of child support payments in Texas

Your child becomes emancipated: The court can decide that your child has become “emancipated,” meaning financially independent and self-supporting, and thus no longer in need of child support before they reach the age of majority. Common examples of emancipation include the child getting married, joining the military or leaving home.

Your child dies: When a child passes away, you are no longer obligated to pay child support for that child. If there are other children in the family, you will need to petition for a Texas child support modification.

You have a medical crisis: In certain circumstances, when the person paying child support is suffering from a severe illness and/or if they are nearing death, that individual may no longer be obligated to pay child support.

You discover that you’re not the child’s father: If genetic testing proves that you are not a child’s biological father, you can petition to terminate your parent-child relationship and stop paying child support. You will need to file that petition within one year of learning that you are not the child’s biological father.




Leave a comment

Guidelines for Christmas Visitation Schedule


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

The possessory conservator or non-primary 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;

The possessory conservator or non-primary 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;

Children need to have structure in their Holiday Visitation schedule to ensure that they will be able to see both parents and share the joy of the season with their entire family.  The children are often the ones who suffer when the Holiday Visitation arrangement goes awry.

The best gift of the holiday a child can experience is an early proactive arrangement of all holiday plans so everyone knows dates and times for visitation with both Mom and Dad.   This Holiday Season vow to keep your child out of the middle of any family conflict and start to develop new holiday traditions with your child and family.  Many parents have new relationships/marriages and other children in the family group. The new holiday traditions should include everyone and be a bonding experience for years to come.

Tips on Dealing with Holiday Visitation Issues

  • Make sure your children have positive holiday memories. Shield them from conflicts between warring ex-spouses.
  • Plan ahead now on scheduling the upcoming holiday visitations. The longer the wait, the more stress involved!
  • If there is a deviation in the holiday schedule this year, make sure it is, in advance, in writing.  Make sure the document shows what times are being exchanged and both parents sign it for future confirmation.
  • Stay flexible and compromise: If you have to work, consider having the kids spend more time with the other parent so they have time with friends.  This is a time for new family traditions and changes from old habits.  Put aside your differences with the other parent and make the children’s time happy with good memories.
  • If age appropriate, ask your children what is important to them during the holidays.  There may be a special place or event that is very important to them; try to accommodate this.
  • Enjoy the Holidays with your children.  This is a special time for wonderful bonding and beautiful memories. Do not undermine their holiday by hateful confrontations and fighting.
  • If you anticipate a problem could arise regarding holiday visitation schedules, don’t delay! Consult a legal expert in time to get the conflict resolved before the holidays commence!

Leave a comment