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Texas divorce attorney, Texas custody lawyerIn Texas, couples who make the decision to file for divorce have the option of coming to an out of court agreement about child custody and visitation issues. Although all parenting plans must be approved by the court prior to the conclusion of the proceedings, this still allows parents to create a schedule that meets the needs of all parties, especially the children. When the parties are unable to come to an agreement, however, visitation matters will be decided by the court, which can leave everyone dissatisfied. Having the advice of an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference in whether parents are able to reach an agreement outside of court, so if you are considering a divorce and have questions about visitation rights, it is necessary that you reach out to an experienced complex child custody attorney who can assist you in protecting the interests of both you and your children.

Why Do I Need a Unique Schedule?

When a court decides visitation issues, it often abides by a predetermined schedule. While these schedules are appropriate for many families, they are not always workable. This is because different careers and parenting styles can make it extremely difficult for a family to comply with a Standard Possession Order (SPO). For example, if one parent is a pilot or is required to go on regular business trips, he or she may not only not be able to comply with the custody order, but will miss out on valuable time with his or her children. Alternatively, a parent who is a doctor and is on call may be required to leave unexpectedly to attend a patient at the hospital. This can leave parents attempting to make last minute child care arrangements or missing visitation with their children altogether. In these types of situations, a standard possession order is not always in the best interests of either the parents or the children.

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas divorce attorney, Texas custody lawyerAlthough filing for divorce is always a complex and emotional process, it can be even more difficult when one of the parties cannot be located. In these situations, the party petitioning the court must comply with specific procedures, so if you are considering filing for divorce and do not know where your spouse currently lives, it is critical to speak with an experienced complex divorce attorney who can help explain your next steps.

Filing a Petition

Even when someone does not know where his or her spouse is currently living, it is still necessary to take the following steps:

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family lawyerCourt orders are legally enforceable, which means that if a parent fails to comply with their terms, he or she can be held accountable by the court. Generally, this is achieved by filing a motion for contempt or a motion for enforcement by the wronged party. Filing these motions requires compliance with specific procedural rules, so if your ex-spouse is failing to abide by the terms of a court order by refusing to pay child support or spousal maintenance, you should contact an experienced complex divorce litigation attorney who can explain your legal options.

Filing a Motion for Enforcement

When a party is failing to abide by the terms of either a temporary or permanent divorce-related order, the other person can file a motion for enforcement. However, a court will only approve a motion for enforcement if it contains specific information, including:

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Texas child support attorney, Texas family law attorneyWhether the terms of a child support order were determined by a judge or a couple came to an agreement outside of court, each spouse is legally required to comply with the order. Parental responsibilities are taken seriously in Texas, so failing to pay child support can have serious consequences, including wage garnishment and jail time. In fact, a recently implemented program now prohibits parents who are behind on child support payments from renewing their vehicle registration. Whether you are having trouble meeting your child support obligations or are trying to enforce a child support order, it is critical to have the advice of an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Office of the Attorney General

All child support orders must be registered with the state’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which oversees and enforces child support obligations across the state. When a person falls behind on payments, the OAG can withhold a percentage of his or her paycheck until the amount has been paid. The OAG is also permitted to collect past due child support by seizing the parent’s liquid or cash assets, including the contents of a bank account. The OAG can also take the following steps:

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas family law attorneyDivorce can be a complicated, stressful, and truly difficult time for those involved, especially when one or both parties are or were formerly members of the military. Recent changes to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) further complicates how assets will be divided in divorces where one of the parties is a member of the military. To learn more about how these changes could affect your or your family, it is crucial to speak with an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain the potential repercussions.

Disposable Military Retired Pay

According to the USFSPA, state courts are permitted to treat disposable military retired pay as divisible property during a couple’s divorce. Although the law authorizes state courts to make this division, it does not require it and does not provide a formula for division. However, the law does provide a mechanism that enables former spouses to enforce an award by receiving direct payments from a member’s retired pay.

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyerOne of the most contentious issues faced by many couples going through a divorce is who will retain ownership of the family home. Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. The family home falls under this category as well, which means that if a couple is unable to come to an agreement outside of court, a judge will need to devise an equitable arrangement. Property division is a complicated legal issue, which can be made even more complex by the emotionally charged nature of many divorces, so if you are considering a divorce and have concerns about property division, it is important to contact an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your options.

Community Property

All property acquired during a marriage will need to be divided during a divorce, including:

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Texas complex custody lawyer, Texas family law attorneyEarly this year, Senator Jane Nelson introduced a new bill that would give courts the right to terminate the parental rights of someone convicted of sexual assault. If passed, the new law could have significant repercussions on the rights of many Texas parents, so if you have questions about how the law could affect you, it is important to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can address your concerns. A skilled family law attorney in your area will help protect your rights and provide questions to any answers you may have concerning family law in Texas.

Current Law

According to Texas law, courts can terminate the parent-child relationship if clear and convincing evidence demonstrates that a parent has:

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas family lawyerEven when a couple chooses not to officially get married, their relationship may qualify as a common law marriage. In these cases, separating couples are still required to go through the process of divorce, so if you have questions about whether your relationship qualifies as a common law marriage and what steps you need to take to obtain a divorce, it is critical to contact an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your rights and responsibilities.

Common Law Marriage Requirements

Before ending a long-term relationship, couples should make sure that their union does not qualify as a common law marriage, which requires that the couple has:

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The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759