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January 2015 Archives

How child support is established in Texas

In order to make child support orders more uniform throughout the state, statutory guidelines are used by Texas courts in determining child support amounts. Judges are able to deviate from the guidelines if doing so is in the best interests of the child, but in such an event, the court has to detail its reasons in a written ruling.

Paternity, possession and child support in Texas

When a child is born to unmarried parents in Texas, the unmarried father is not automatically presumed to be the legal father of the child for either possession and access rights or for child support orders. For that reason, it is a good idea for the unmarried father's paternity to be legally determined, both so that the father can assert his rights to the child and so that the other parent may seek a child support order if she has possession of the child.

A grandparent's right to custody and visitation

A Texas court may grant custody or visitation rights to a grandparent, if the judge finds that it is in the best interests of the child. It is important to note that Texas statutes do not grant grandparents the absolute right to visitation, and certain circumstances must exist in order for a request to be successfully granted.

Legally changing a name after a divorce

Women in Texas who have legally divorced may be wondering what the process of changing their name back to their maiden name entails. In some instances, single mothers may also wish to change their children's last name back to their maiden name. However, the father may also have legal rights that protect his surname. As long as the father remains regularly active in the child's life, the court may honor his right to demand that the child continues to use his surname. This is viewed as more of a traditional ideal that is upheld by courts. However, there are a number of jurisdictions changing the way they view this matter.

Collecting retirement benefits based on a former spouse

An ex-spouse in Texas may still have access to some benefits after a divorce through Social Security, and a former partner could receive retirement benefits when meeting certain requirements. Generally, an ex-spouse may not collect benefits while married to someone else. However, one can qualify for benefits from a former partner's record even if the partner has remarried.

Modifying alimony orders in Texas

Sometimes, long after an alimony order has been issued in a Texas divorce case, a party's circumstances may have changed to a degree that a modification of the order is needed. The law allows for people to come back to the court in order to seek a change to the original alimony order issued by the court.

Texas standard and expanded standard possession

If you are a parent going through a divorce, one of the key decisions will most likely be what will work best in regards to a child custody and visitation schedule. Under Texas law, courts will normally grant one parent primarily residential custody, while the other parent will either have visitation on a standard possession schedule or an expanded standard possession schedule.

Protecting a business in a divorce

Divorce can be challenging as spouses deal with the emotional and financial details involved in dissolving the marriage. Because Texas is a community property state, marital assets are generally split equally between both parties. This can create challenges if either spouse has their own business, and failure to prepare for the possibility of divorce could expose the owner to possible difficulties as the asset is considered during the property division phase of the proceedings.

Avoiding the early withdrawal penalty with 401(k)s after divorce

Texas law treats most property obtained by either spouse during the marriage to be community property, to be divided upon the termination of the union. Many Texas residents have 401(k) retirement accounts as a result of their career and work activity. If a married person with such an account gets a divorce, the amount that was contributed to the retirement account during the time of the marriage will be considered a marital asset and subject to the normal terms of property division.

Does an inmate still have to pay child support?

Parents who are incarcerated in Texas may still receive child support or be ordered to pay child support even while in jail. During the time that a parent who owes support is in prison, he or she will receive monthly statements detailing how much back support may be owed. Those who are incarcerated are urged to provide any support payments possible while in state custody.