Texas Court Includes Father’s Personal Injury Annuity in Resources When Calculating Child Support

Texas Court Includes Father’s Personal Injury Annuity in Resources When Calculating Child Support

Originally published by Kelly McClure.

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The Texas Family Code provides guidelines to assist courts in calculating child support that are based on a percentage of the parent’s net monthly resources.  The statute sets forth what types of income are included and excluded from the parent’s net monthly resources.  In many families, it is fairly straight-forward to determine what is included in the calculation.  If a parent’s only income is from the wage or salary he or she earns from employment, it is relatively simple to identify the net monthly resources.  Some families, however, have more complicated financial circumstances making it less clear what should be included.

In a recent case, a father appealed the inclusion of an annuity payment in his net monthly resources for purposes of the child support calculation.  Prior to the marriage, the father settled a claim for a work-related accident with his employer.  As a result of the settlement, the father receives $6,970 per month from an annuity.  The payments will continue until either the the father’s death or June 1, 2044.

The couple had one child during the marriage.  The mother filed for divorce less than a year after the couple was married.  Although the couple reached agreement on some issues, they were unable to agree on child support and medical support.  The trial court found the annuity payments were “resources” under Texas Family Code 154.062 and included them in the father’s resources when calculating the child and medical support payments.

 

The father appealed, arguing the trial court erred in including the annuity payments in his net resources and therefore erred in calculating the amount of child support and medical support.  The appeals court considered the plain language of the statute defining resources.  The statute specifically addresses annuities, stating, “Resources include…all other income actually being received, including… annuities…”  Although previous cases distinguished between settlement annuities and other types of annuities, the appeals court declined to draw such a distinction.  The appeals court pointed out that the statute included “annuities” within “resources,” and did not differentiate between types of annuities.  Furthermore, the statutory language did not differentiate between the portion of the annuity payment representing repayment of premiums and the portion that represented earned interest.  The appeals court therefore found no error in the trial court including the full amount of the monthly annuity payment in the father’s resources.

The appeals court in this case found that the entire annuity payment could be included in the parent’s net monthly resources.  However, this holding is inconsistent with the previous holding of another Texas appeals court.  Although the language in the statute provides that annuities are included in net monthly resources, there is also language stating that the “return of principal” is not included.  The issue, therefore, may not be completely settled.  Different facts or a different court could lead to a different result.  If you are anticipating a child support dispute involving an annuity, the skilled child support attorneys at McClure Law Group can help.  Call us at 214.692.8200 to schedule an appointment to talk about your case.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Child Support: How To Reach a Child Maintenance Agreement That Benefits Your Children

Child Support: How To Reach a Child Maintenance Agreement That Benefits Your Children

Although you may not be able to avoid tension during a divorce, your kids are your most important consideration. That’s why it’s vital to arrange a child maintenance agreement.

The post Child Support: How To Reach a Child Maintenance Agreement That Benefits Your Children appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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What You Must Know About Child Support Modification Hearings

What You Must Know About Child Support Modification Hearings

Modification of a child support order begins with filing a form by which either party can ask the court to reconsider the current child support arrangement.

The post What You Must Know About Child Support Modification Hearings appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award 1

Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner and DadsDivorce sponsor Joseph E. Cordell recently was named selected as one of 27 attorneys to receive the ICON Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly for notable and sustained success and leadership both within and beyond the field of law.

Launched in 2018, the ICON Awards are presented to distinguished
attorneys age 60 and older in recognition of their exemplary careers and
commitment to the Missouri legal community. Honorees must hold or have held a
senior position with significant decision-making authority with the firm or
organization.

The list of 2019 honorees includes founding partners,
judges, and public officials. Mr. Cordell and the rest of the 2019 honorees
will be celebrated at the second annual ICON Awards luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2
p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. Honorees
also will be profiled in print and online in a special section of Missouri
Lawyers Weekly published May 27.

Throughout his career, Mr. Cordell has worked diligently to
better the legal community in Missouri.

Fighting for fathers’ rights is what motivated Mr. Cordell
to become a divorce lawyer for men. In 1990, while practicing general law, he
realized 85 to 90 percent of his clients were coming to the Cordell &
Cordell firm for domestic relations help.

“I was galvanized by guys who were my clients and trying to get
primary custody of their children. Even though they were the better parent,
they still couldn’t get across the finish line in the courts,” Mr. Cordell
said. “The more frustrated I became, the more incentivized I was to help them.”

As the Co-Founder and Principal Partner of Cordell & Cordell,
Mr. Cordell took this passion and created the largest family law firm focused
on representing men in divorce in the world. The firm has represented tens of
thousands of clients and is powered by nearly 300 attorneys and more than 100
legal staff in more than 100 offices throughout the United States and United
Kingdom.

In 2016, Mr. Cordell founded Cordell Planning Partners, an elder care law firm that provides individuals the resources and information needed to make responsible decisions concerning their estate, assets, health, and well-being as they age.

Mr. Cordell is an active member of the American Academy of
Attorney-CPAs and was installed as the organizations 51st president
in 2014. In 2017, he was elected the AAA-CPA Missouri Chapter President.

Philanthropically, Mr. Cordell and has wife, Yvonne, have
continually given back to the legal community. They generously made a gift
commitment of $1 million in 2014 to establish and endow the Cordell & Cordell
Visiting Professorship at their law school alma mater, Washington University
School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. In 2018, the Cordells pledged $5 million to
Washington University to establish a new institute, the Joseph and Yvonne
Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law, to study issues of
ethics, medicine, and law. Additionally, the couple will provide annual support
to the establishment.

Mr. Cordell also has prioritized continuous learning and
education throughout his career and is committed to providing these opportunities to
other attorneys through ongoing education both internally and externally.

He is the driving force behind Cordell & Cordell’s annual
daylong CLE Domestic Litigation Forum, which each year gives the local legal
community the opportunity to earn a year’s worth of Missouri CLE credits in one
day for free.

He also developed Cordell College to provide an additional layer
of practice development for Cordell & Cordell attorneys. The internal
curriculum program ensures Cordell & Cordell attorneys are not only highly
skilled in domestic litigation but also in areas such as organization, time
management, and providing communication to their clients that is transparent and
easy to understand.

Click here to read more about the ICON Awards or to purchase tickets to the Awards Banquet.

The post Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Securing a Divorce Court Settlement With Life Insurance

Securing a Divorce Court Settlement With Life Insurance

While the dynamics are different in divorce, it does not change the fact that life insurance is still a must when a divorce settlement is inevitable. Without proper coverage, you may not be able to maintain your lifestyle or support your children when your ex passes away.

The post Securing a Divorce Court Settlement With Life Insurance appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support

There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support

Of the many items divorced couples need to figure out — such as who gets the house, who keeps the expensive wedding gifts, calculating child support, and more — perhaps the most important decisions revolve around the kids Depending on their ages, they may or may not understand what’s going on, and, regardless, it will be a difficult transition for them as well.

The post There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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holiday parenting time

DadsDivorce Wishes You A Merry Christmas

holiday parenting timeTo our readers,

While the holidays are a time of joy for many families, that is not always the case when you have gone through divorce or are in the middle of one.

Divorced fathers often spend the holidays separated from their children, and that is heartbreaking. It is especially tough when it is your first holiday season as a divorced dad. Instead of warmth and happiness, you might be feeling isolated and lonely.

As tough as this is, it is important to keep in mind these emotions are all part of the healing process. DadsDivorce has produced numerous articles, videos, and podcasts to help guys like you through this difficult transition.

At DadsDivorce and Men’s Divorce, you can find resources that offer practical tips to help you through this time. On our Men’s Divorce Forum provides a community of men and fathers who have gone through similar experiences who can help you learn how to cope and strive after divorce. Our sponsor, Cordell & Cordell, is dedicated to giving men the legal resources they need to rebuild their lives after divorce.

We hope you are able to spend this time of year with your loved ones. For those of you who are not that fortunate, remember you are not alone.

Happy Holidays from DadsDivorce and DadsDivorce sponsor Cordell & Cordell.

The post DadsDivorce Wishes You A Merry Christmas appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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child support

Do We Need An Attorney To Sort Out Child Support?

child supportQuestion:

My wife and I have been living apart for four months. She has our son, and we came to a mutual agreement regarding visitation rights and the amount of child support I should pay.

We have agreed to keep everything peaceful, as long as we both follow what we agreed to. Once it is time to get our divorce, will we need to get a lawyer or just go through the courts?

Answer:

I am not licensed to practice in your state and cannot provide you legal advice. However, I can give general tips regarding your situation based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Cordell & Cordell Fairfax Divorce Attorney Timothy Jacques
Cordell & Cordell Fairfax Divorce Attorney Timothy Jacques

First, each state has different requirements for divorce when there are children involved. Typically, you must be separated for 6-to-12 months and have an agreement as to custody, visitation, support, and equitable distribution. (Some states recognize formal separation and some do not.)

Once you have met the separation criteria in your state, typically a complaint for divorce is filed with the court, followed by the separation agreement and a final decree of divorce. Many states make the process simple and do not require amicable spouse to appear in court.

However, the amount of child support one pays can vary great based on a number of factors including, how many days of visitation each party receive, the income of the parties, and necessary child care and out of pocket medical expenses.

You should contact your local Cordell & Cordell office for an in-depth consultation regarding your specific facts and before you agree to any amount of child support.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Fairfax divorce attorney Timothy Jacques, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post Do We Need An Attorney To Sort Out Child Support? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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child support across state lines

How To Juggle A Child Support Order In Multiple States

child support across state linesQuestion:

Child support for my son was initially opened in New York and also closed in New York. I later moved to Texas while my son, who is now 18, moved to Virginia.

Since neither of us no longer live in New York, do I still need to pay child support until age 21 since the case originated in New York?

Answer:

While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.

To properly answer your question, I would need to review all of the orders from New York, along with all of the orders from Virginia. If the case was terminated or closed in New York, and a brand new case was opened in Virginia, then I believe Virginia law would control how your child support order is handled.

If the case was simply transferred from New York to Virginia, and if Virginia follows the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, then I do not believe Virginia can modify the duration of the support order, just the amount of the support order.

Oklahoma Divorce Attorney Natalie Sears
Oklahoma Divorce Attorney Natalie Sears

However, this could all be moot if your son is no longer living with his mother.

I would recommend calling a Virginia family law attorney for a consultation first to review the support order that is currently in effect to see what language controls how it is implemented and terminated, along with gathering more information about your case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Oklahoma divorce lawyer Natalie Sears, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post How To Juggle A Child Support Order In Multiple States appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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dads asking for child support

Should More Dads Ask For Child Support?

dads asking for child supportPerhaps one of the biggest, and most costly, misconceptions about the divorce process is that fathers are not entitled to receive child support. This notion is rooted in the outdated assumption that persists in family court that the mother is the caregiver and the father is the family’s breadwinner.

This stereotype is causing many dads to miss out on money that could be used to help provide for their children. While it is true that men make up the majority of child support providers, the number of stay-at home dads has nearly doubled since 1989, and nearly half of those men live in poverty. Moreover, some research suggests that women will soon be earning more income than their male counterparts.

If a father has sacrificed his career to stay home and take care of his kids while his wife remains in the workforce then it is only fair for that dad to ask for child support in the event of divorce.

Some dads feel a stigma about asking for child support. Others are unfamiliar with how to file for support.

Fathers should not hesitate to ask for child support if they need financial help raising their child, and they should educate themselves about how the system works so they know what to expect.

Who can ask for child support?

Typically, the parent who has primary custody is entitled to child support. Some states allow a parent to receive child support if custody is shared if the other parent makes more money.

Who helps with getting child support?

The child support system works a little differently in each state. In some states, a child support enforcement agency helps custodial parents seeking a child support order from the court. Other states only give assistance to lower-income individuals or who are receiving financial assistance from the state.

A men’s divorce attorney who focuses on fathers’ rights can assist dads seeking child support.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

What information is needed when requesting child support?

Regardless of whether you use a state child support agency or a family law attorney, you will need to provide certain information to obtain a child support order.

First and foremost, you will need the mother’s contact information with her last known address and place of employment.

It is possible you also will need to provide a birth certificate and proof of paternity.

Other financial information also will likely be required, such as information regarding your income and expenses related to raising the child.

How much child support will I receive?

Generally, state child support laws say that children are entitled to financial support from both their parents. Each state establishes its own set of child support guidelines that determine how much financial support a child will need that is based on several different factors.

These guidelines are used to come up with a basic amount of child support that the parent who receives it is entitled to. However, it is important to note that there can be special circumstances, such as medical expenses or high childcare costs, that justify the court deviating from the standard amount of child support provided by these guidelines.

Online child support calculators can help you figure out how much child support you might be entitled to.

What is included in a child support order?

Most child support orders will list how much monthly or weekly child support the other parent is required to pay. It also may note that the parent’s income will be automatically withheld from their paycheck to cover the child support payment. This step is useful in making sure payments are not missed.

What if my ex doesn’t pay?

There are typically a number of child support enforcement options if the other parent refuses to pay court-ordered child support.

By failing to pay, the other parent can be held in contempt of court, which has a number of potential consequences. Other enforcement mechanisms may include suspending the other parent’s driver’s license, intercepting tax refunds, reporting debt to credit bureaus, or garnishing wages.

The post Should More Dads Ask For Child Support? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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