Men’s Divorce Podcast: My Wife Says She Wants A Divorce

Men’s Divorce Podcast: My Wife Says She Wants A Divorce

In part 1 of a four-part series, Cordell & Cordell CEO/Managing Partner Scott Trout and divorce attorney Drew Williams discuss the steps a man should take after finding out his wife wants a divorce.

Divorce catches many guys off-guard, and that shock can contribute to costly mistakes that have long-lasting ramifications. Mr. Trout and Mr. Williams provide tips and strategies to help guys facing divorce ensure their most important assets are protected.

After listing to this episode, you will have a much greater knowledge of the road that lies ahead in divorce and have the information necessary to make educated decisions about your future.

Click the link below to listen to the full episode. Also make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or whichever podcast app you prefer.

The post Men’s Divorce Podcast: My Wife Says She Wants A Divorce appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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No One Can Touch My Retirement For Child Support or Alimony, Right?

No One Can Touch My Retirement For Child Support or Alimony, Right?

Retirement funds are not all safe from being taken to satisfy child support or alimony/spousal support obligations.

The post No One Can Touch My Retirement For Child Support or Alimony, Right? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Court Lifts Texas OAG Suspension of Driver’s License for Failure to Pay Child Support

Court Lifts Texas OAG Suspension of Driver’s License for Failure to Pay Child Support

Originally published by Kelly McClure.

By

The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is responsible for certain child support services, including collecting and enforcing Texas child support orders.  Recipients of certain public assistance programs may automatically qualify for the OAG’s child support services, but others have to apply for the services.  The OAG has a variety of ways to enforce child support, including filing liens, issuing writs of withholdings to the parent’s employer, suspending driver’s licenses, and intercepting tax refunds or other money from state or federal sources.

In a recent case, a father challenged the OAG’s enforcement actions against him.  The father was ordered to pay child support beginning in December 1996.  The court also issued an Order Enforcing Child Support Obligation in October 1999, including a cumulative money judgment for $15,000 plus interest against the father in favor of the Attorney General.

In 2015, the OAG sent a notice of child support lien to the father’s bank and issued administrative writs of withholding to his employers.  The OAG also filed a petition with the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the father’s driver’s license suspension.

 

The father filed a motion alleging the OAG violated provisions of the Texas Family Code because it failed to obtain a cumulative money judgment within 10 years of the child becoming an adult.  The OAG did not appear at the hearing.  The trial court lifted the driver’s license suspension, rescinded the writs of withholding, declared the child support liens void, and ordered no further wage withholding.

The OAG filed a restricted appeal.  The OAG argued the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the driver’s license suspension because the relevant statute required the father to file his petition for review in Travis County district court.  A proceeding regarding the suspension of a parent’s driver’s license for failure to pay child support is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act.  The Administrative Procedure Act requires a person seeking judicial review of a contested case to file the petition in a Travis County district court unless another statute provides otherwise.  TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 2001.176.

The father did not file his petition in a Travis County district court.  The OAG argued that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the issue.  The appeals court, however, found that that the statute did not grant Travis County district court with exclusive jurisdiction, but instead provided a mandatory venue.  Mandatory venue, the court noted, may be waived if a party fails to make a timely objection.  The OAG had not made a timely objection.

The OAG also argued the trial court had exceeded its subject matter jurisdiction in enjoining additional administrative writs of withholding.  Under TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 22.002(c), only the Texas supreme court has the authority to issue a writ of mandamus or injunction against an officer of Texas’s executive departments to order or compel performance of a duty state law authorizes the officer to perform.  The appeals court noted  the OAG is an officer of the executive department and is authorized to enforce and collect child support through administrative writs of withholding.  Thus, only the supreme court could enjoin the OAG from issuing such writs in this case.  The appeals court found that the portion of the order stating that “no further wages be withheld in this cause…” constituted an injunction.

The appeals court vacated the part of the trial court’s order that enjoined the OAG from issuing additional administrative writs of withholding and affirmed the rest of the order.

The OAG will become involved in certain cases involving public assistance.  Although parents in other cases may seek the OAG’s assistance, parents should be aware of what OAG enforcement entails.  Once the OAG is involved, the parents are not able to choose which enforcement actions will be taken.  If you are facing a child support issue, an experienced Texas child support attorney can help you consider your options and protect your rights.  Call McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200 to set up an appointment.

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



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Divorce, Geographic Restriction, and The Long-Distant Parent

Divorce, Geographic Restriction, and The Long-Distant Parent

Originally published by Jonathan James.

As if divorce weren’t tough enough, throw in long-distance parenting and you’ve got a tricky proposition.  In today’s fast-paced existence, the reality is that both parents aren’t always able to live within the bounds of standard language in your typical Texas custody agreement, whether the reason is financial (job) or personal (you name it).

Let’s back up a second: a standard custody agreement provides parents with basic parental rights and the accepted minimal amount of time with their child(ren).  When the parents live within 100 miles of each other, a standard custody agreement usually assigns one parent full custody and the other parent visitation rights.  Visitation rights are generally 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends, Thursday evenings during the school year, and alternating holidays.   A “geographic restriction” then, is a restriction placed on the parent determining primary residence on the limits of where that parent may determine residence.  The wording here is often, “Dallas county and counties contiguous [or Collin County, Tarrant County, Rockwall, Ellis]” or something close.

So, if the parties are unable to agree on whether there should be a geographic restriction or what that restriction should be, the court will determine, based on the particulars of the situation, what restriction will be in the best interest of the child.   This decision is fact specific and the goal is always keeping both parents close to, and actively involved in, the lives of their children.  It’s worthwhile to note that each judge has his or her own ideas and preferences, and parents are smart to weigh their options regarding geographic restrictions with an attorney before rushing to take action.

 

The Basic Three In Long Distance

  • Fairly straightforward and most common: by agreement, mom and dad decide upon the particulars of who will live where and with whom, based upon the details of their circumstance. A visitation schedule will be decided and agreed upon together, but a standard arrangement will usually include one weekend visitation a month, extended time in summer, and at least ½ of all holidays.
  • Contested Trial: one parent wants kids to move with them out of state (beyond the county area that is a ”normal” geographic restriction). This is not an easy sell.  It is difficult to win a contested trial on this issue unless a circumstance arises that so changes the situation, it renders the children in a better condition if the restriction is lifted.  This might include a parent who finds a great job located far away.  Particularly if the parent is currently unemployed or it’s a stretch to pay for the needs of their child, the court might deem the distance worth it.  Every effort would be made to ensure the child would see the other parent as often as possible.  Specific details might be included in the new language of the order dealing with the logistics and costs of travel for the children to see the other parent.
  • They always live apart: this includes that one-night stand in Vegas (that apparently didn’t stay there) or when a parent doesn’t know he or she is one until a child and arrives on the proverbial doorstep.

 

Think Now Instead Of Later

In and of itself, none of these situations are insurmountable. The details can seem complicated but can be thoughtfully worked through in a way that ends up adequate for everyone.   But what I have seen happen too many times is the couple who wants so desperately for a divorce to be final, they don’t focus on the fine print.  For instance, if there is an agreement that Jane can move to Seattle with Joey Jr., and that Joe Sr., who still lives in Dallas, can visit monthly, who is paying for junior’s plane ticket?  If junior is only 3, is he getting on a plane by himself, or is mom accompanying him?  Where is she staying in Dallas?  Does the new girlfriend know about this arrangement?  If Joe flies to town to visit junior, where is he staying?  Is mom okay leaving junior with dad for the whole weekend?  Kids also grow: they have sports or lessons on the weekends,  sleepovers or campouts, and friends they want to see, houses they’d like to toilet paper (do they still do that?).  At 3, Junior might be just fine with the back and forth (planes are fun!), but how will he feel when he’s12?  Because believe me, they will be before you know it.

 

The Geographic Takeaway

No one says you have to be the good guy, and no one may be watching, but be sure that your kid is and will be aware of the decisions you make and how you thought about them in your determinations.  The goal of best interest of the child isn’t just a phrase in the decree—your kids didn’t ask you to get divorced, they’ve had to deal with the fallout—their best interest is what should be most important.

My advice is pretty simple for parents doing long distance: play ball and be flexible. Even if you don’t want to.  If you think of the other parent as part of the team that makes your family run as well as possible instead of focusing on your hurt, you and your kid and even your ex will be better for it.  This includes remembering that flights get delayed, flat tires happen, plans can fall through; the two adults, and not through the child, must communicate with each other directly and respectfully about all of the details.  If nothing else, remember your children are watching.  You are how they learn to navigate relationships; you can either show them life can work even when some parts are not ideal, or you can display the cost of hanging on to righteousness or anger.

If you are long-distance with your kid, be creative.  Set up a weekly FaceTime, send each other frequent texts or jokes and get the details about their lives from them or your ex so when you are together, you don’t have to get to know each other or thaw every time.  Maybe obvious but perhaps most important: is it an absolute necessity for you to move?  Sit with that one for a minute.  With our mobile society, more and more people can work remotely.  Get creative with an employer.  You might be surprised what they will consider.  Regardless, remember that what you do today added up over time creates your tomorrow, not just for you, but for your children as they grow to adulthood.

 

About the Author

Jonathan James is a family law attorney with Hance Law Group, PC.  He can be reached at bhopson@hancelaw.com and jjames@hancelaw.com.

To schedule an initial consultation with Larry and the Hance Law Group team, please call us at 469.374.9600 or email Kelly Bailey at kbailey@hancelaw.com.

The post Divorce, Geographic Restriction, and The Long-Distant Parent appeared first on Hance Law Group | Trusted Dallas Family Law Attorneys.

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



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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.

By

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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