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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

When child support payments end

For many divorced Texas parents, child support payments, whether they are being made or received, are a simple fact of life. However, when child support comes to an end, it can impact parents' finances, especially if the parent has been receiving child support payments for years. In most cases, child support ends when the child turns 18; however, there are instances where child support may end before the age of 18 or after.

In all states, child support may end when the child reaches what is called the age of majority. In the state of Texas, this is when the child either graduates from high school or turns 18. However, in some cases, the noncustodial parent may agree to continue to provide child support until the child is 21 if they are attending college. Additionally, if the child has special needs or is disabled, the child support payments may be extended.

Unmarried fathers and paternity

When a child is born to unmarried parents in Texas, the father will not exercise his rights as a parent until and unless his paternity is established. As a noncustodial parent, the unmarried father must take this necessary step in order to seek and obtain visitation rights with his child.

Paternity may be established in several ways. If the parents agree that the man is the father, both may sign an acknowledgement of his paternity and file it with the court. If the man is uncertain, however, it is important that he make certain he is the father through genetic testing before filing such a document, as the legal acknowledgement can be very difficult or sometimes impossible to later rescind.

Keeping divorce costs in check

While some Texas couples are able to keep the costs of their divorces relatively low, others commit common errors that can result in substantial legal fees that they otherwise would not have incurred. In many cases, people whose fees balloon often do so primarily because they are giving in to the raw emotions brought forth by the divorce.

The most common mistakes people make during their divorces are in some instances easily correctable. People should first remember that their attorneys will likely be billing by the hour, so the more phone calls and meetings, the higher the charges will be. A common problem people have is acting as if their attorney is also their therapist. While the divorce attorney is certainly there to advocate on behalf of their clients, calling them and asking for help to settle very minor problems only serves to increase the amount owed.

Tax tips for single parents

Texas parents in single-parent households may be able to save as much as $6,143 depending on the stipulations in their child custody agreements. Before filing, both parents will want to team up to make sure they're in agreement with each other on what can and cannot be deducted. While a signed waiver from the non-custodial parent to not claim the child as a dependent is suggested, it is not required.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, in order to claim a child as a dependent, there are a few requirements. According to one source, the filing parent must earn a minimum of 50 percent of the household income, and the child must live in that household for six or more months in 2014. Eligibility also includes adopted children.

How child support is established in Texas

The state of Texas has statutory guidelines for judges to follow when setting child support amounts during divorce proceedings. Courts can deviate from the guidelines in the event they make a written finding that such a deviation, either above the guideline amount or below it, is in the child's best interests. In most cases, however, noncustodial parents should expect their child support obligation will follow the guideline amount.

In setting child support, courts consider almost all of the types of income that the noncustodial parent has. Included income is defined broadly to include self-employment income, wages and salary to include overtime and bonuses, dividends, royalty and interest income and any other type of income the person might receive, such as unemployment compensation, workers' compensation or other payment forms.

Process for divorcing in Texas

When the marriage of a Texas couple is coming to an end, the process of divorce may seem bewildering and daunting. Understanding the basic requirements and the court procedure can help allay some of the fears people may have when they are contemplating a divorce.

The first hurdle that must be met is that the state must have jurisdiction over the matter. This requirement is met as long as one or both spouses have resided in Texas for at least six months. Then, the person who will file must select the grounds under which he or she will be doing so. Most people opt to file a no-fault divorce on grounds of insupportability. Some, however, choose a fault-based ground, such as adultery, a spouse that has been convicted of a felony, a spouse that has been institutionalized, cruelty or that the pair have been living apart for six months or more.

Understanding the implications of dividing a 401(k) in divorce

Texas residents who are seeking a divorce may be interested in the issues surrounding one type of property that can be divided when the marriage ends. Due to the potential tax issues surrounding the division of retirement accounts, care should be taken in ensuring that the process is followed correctly.

When a married couple divorces, there are many questions that must be resolved, either by agreement or through a judge's decision. Some of the biggest questions have to do with asset division, particularly in high-asset divorce cases. When one or both of the ex-spouses have a retirement plan, like a 401(k), this asset may be subject to division.

Texas law allows support order modifications

Many Texas residents may be party to child support and custody orders. Over time, changing circumstances for both parents and the children involved may result in a need to modify the standing orders, and the process for seeking a modification requires filing an action with the courts.

The first step to modification involves filing a petition with the court. The children's parents and anyone who is affected by the order is eligible to files such a petition. These petitions are typically filed in the office where the original support and custody orders were filed, but in cases where the family has moved to a new county, it may be possible to transfer the case to a new office. After the petition is filed, the other involved parties must be notified.

The Jenners reach a divorce settlement

The buzz surrounding the Kris and Bruce Jenner divorce had many wondering how long the process would drag out. After separating in October 2013, the couple waited nearly a year before filing for divorce in California in September 2014. Avoiding the stereotypical lengthy and ugly divorce that many celebrities endure, the couple worked together to complete the process within three months.

It has been reported that Kris is retaining the home in Calabasas that was featured in their reality show, several cars, her bank accounts and all partnerships and business interests in her name. Bruce will retain ownership of any properties in his name, several cars, a Harley Davidson and half the value of any joint bank accounts. The couple mutually agreed to divide their personal possessions such as jewelry, home furnishings, appliances and artwork.

Is a protective order still valid if I move to another state?

A protective order that was granted in Texas is valid in every state and tribal court in the United States. In addition, all US territories must enforce a protective order that was issued in Texas. Under the federal Violence Against Women Act, all courts must treat protective orders with 'full faith and credit".

Because protective orders are valid in any state, an individual who has been the victim of domestic violence can feel free to move to another state without the need to petition the court for another protective order. However, the individual should make sure that the protective order that was issued is valid under federal law before they move.

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