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May 2017 Archives

Points to consider before getting a divorce

A spouse in Texas who is considering a divorce may want to ask themselves a number of questions before starting the separation process. The answers might persuade them to remain in the marriage, but even if they do not, these points can give the person a clearer idea of how to move forward with the divorce.

Can you get a passport if you owe child support?

When noncustodial parents in Texas and around the country fail to pay their court-ordered child support payments, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service will likely become involved. This agency, which is part of the Department of the Treasury, is tasked with collecting delinquent federal and state debts, and there are several actions that they can take to encourage individuals to meet their financial obligations. In addition to holding back lottery winnings or state or federal income tax refunds, the BFS can deny the issuance of passports to noncustodial parents who owe back child support.

Don't let your parental rights float away in the tide

Many parents in Texas are looking forward to summer vacation. Perhaps you're among those who have already started making plans for a trip to the beach with your children. If you recently divorced, this year's trip may be a bit different from those you enjoyed in previous years. That doesn't necessarily mean it won't be wonderful, only that your plans may have to align with certain child custody regulations.

Child support payments increase with car registration program

A Texas program that does not permit people who owe child support to renew their vehicle registrations if they have fallen behind in the previous six months has been effective according to the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division. A press release reports that $1.7 million has been paid in child support since the program's implementation in September 2016.

Understanding pass-through and disregard

Texas parents who are attempting to collect child support may need to understand the process known as pass-through and disregard. This federal law primarily affects families that are receiving or have received Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. How a state chooses to enforce the law may affect how much of the collected child support is disbursed to families that have also received TANF assistance.

Ways of finding a noncustodial parent

It may sometimes be necessary to locate a noncustodial Texas parent because of a need to establish paternity, in order to collect child support or for some other reason. The state child support agency may assist in this process. Information such as the noncustodial parent's birth date and Social Security number may be helpful. With this information, the agency can search the Federal Parent Locator Service. The FPLS is able to crosscheck with a number of different agencies including the IRS, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Department of Defense.

The impact of substance abuse on child custody

When Texas parents have substance abuse issues, it could impact their ability to have possession or access to a child. Substance abuse could refer either to an alcohol problem or an addition to any illegal substance. Authorities may get involved in the matter if a complaint is filed with either the court that issued the custody order or to the Department of Family and Protective Services.

How courts may take children's wishes into consideration

As Texas kids get older, sharing time between their divorced parents can become more difficult, especially as the children begin to express where they would prefer to spend their time. However, the judge may take the children's opinion into consideration under some circumstances when resolving the child custody dispute.