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child support

Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

child support

 

Success!

You’ve received an Order from the Court that requires your Ex to pay you child support each month, as well as an Order that your Ex pay some percentage of costs for things like extracurricular activities and extraordinary medical expenses for your child. The long legal battle is over, and you can rest.

Then, a few months later, the inevitable happens.

Your Ex does not pay.

Now what?

Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

Fortunately, for those parents who have been awarded child support and/or reimbursement for extracurricular or extraordinary medical costs, the law provides several options for enforcement against the non-paying parent (“Obligor”).

Unfortunately, this process can be confusing, and many legal practitioners – and even Judges – struggle to understand which options apply in certain scenarios. (In any case, a party may seek a Citation for Contempt against a party that has failed to comply with a Court Order, but the focus of this article is enforcement, i.e.; how to get money in-hand).

To provide some guidance on enforcement options, the most common scenarios are addressed below:

My Ex has been ordered to pay a specific amount of child support each month and has not made the payment(s).

Under Colorado law, a child support payment is converted into an enforceable support judgment on the day that it is due and not paid, and immediately begins to accrue interest at a rate of 12%, compounded monthly. In cases where payments have not been made for many months or even years, the amount of interest owed on the unpaid child support can exceed several thousand dollars.

However, the operation of law that converts a missed payment into a support judgment does not magically deposit funds into your bank account. In order to obtain actual funds from the Obligor, you will need to file a “Verified Entry of Support Judgement” with the Court reflecting the timeframe at issue, the amount that should have been paid, the amount that was actually paid, and the interest accrued thereon.

Once this document is filed with the Court, you may seek enforcement against the Obligor’s employer, bank accounts, and property by way of liens or a Writ of Garnishment. There are pro’s and con’s to each method of enforcement, however, it is important to remember that support judgments are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

While it may take some time to recover all of the funds owed to you, you will continue to accrue interest on the principal amount owed and the Obligor is unlikely to escape ultimately paying the judgment over time.

In the case of garnishment with an Obligor’s employer, you will begin receiving payments directly from the employer each time that the Obligor receives a paycheck. However, Colorado law sets limits for the percentage of earnings that may be garnished, so you may receive smaller payments towards the total amount owed until that amount is paid off.

When garnishing a bank account, you will be limited in the amount that you recover by how much money the Obligor has in the account. For instance, if you seek to recover $1,000.00, and the Obligor only has $100.00 in the account, you will only receive $100.00 until/unless the Obligor places more funds into the account in the future.

Alternatively, a lien against property is a viable option and may result in a lump-sum payment, however, you may not receive the funds until the property is sold or otherwise transferred.

My Ex has been ordered to pay a percentage share of extracurricular expenses and extraordinary medical expenses but has failed to do so.

A distinction has been made, however, between amounts owed that are “sum certain,” such as the set monthly amount of child support, and payment of expenses that may fluctuate over time. Most often, this situation presents itself in cases where a party is ordered to pay a percentage amount owed towards extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child.

For example, if an Order requires that a party contribute 50% of the cost of extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child, the actual dollar value of that amount may fluctuate from month to month. Certainly, there will be months when there are no extraordinary medical expenses, and other months when there may be significant expenses (perhaps a child has broken an arm). The same is true for extracurricular costs.

This issue becomes even more complicated when there is specific language in the Court’s Order regarding notice to the other party about the amount of the expense, timelines, and requirements for exchange of receipts and/or invoices, and whether the agreement of both parties is necessary for the expense to be reimbursable.

When dealing with this scenario, the very first step is to ensure that you have complied with all of the notification and exchange of documentation requirements necessary under your specific Court Order. If you have done so, then any failure by the opposing party to pay the amount owed will result in a support judgment, subject to the same interest and enforcement procedures as described in the previous section.

However, because the amount owed can be subject to debate (the other party may claim that you failed to provide documentation or notice as required, or may even dispute the actual amount spent or owed), you cannot simply file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment and immediately seek enforcement. Instead, you must file a “Motion for Entry of Support Judgment” and request that the Court enter an Order awarding you the support judgment and certifying the amount owed.

In this scenario, the Obligor has a due process right to file a Response with the Court, disputing the amount at issue and/or your compliance with the notice and documentation requirements, and may even request an evidentiary hearing regarding these issues. Unlike enforcement of a “sum certain” amount of child support owed, you cannot seek a Writ of Garnishment or enter a lien against property in this scenario until you have received an Order from the Court regarding your Motion for Entry of Support Judgment.

However, once you receive an Order granting your Motion, you may seek the same enforcement options described above.

My Ex has failed to pay both the monthly child support amount AND their contribution to extraordinary expenses.

In the case that your Ex has failed to pay both a “sum certain” amount of child support and has failed to pay their portion of extracurricular and/or extraordinary medical expenses, you will need to seek enforcement under both options outlined above.

You will need to file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment for the amounts owed and not paid as specific child support, and a Motion for Entry of Support Judgement for any amounts that would have been subject to debate or fluctuation over time and seeking a Court Order establishing the amount owed as a judgment.

The post Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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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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aggressive parenting

Is Your Ex An “Aggressive Parent?” Here Are 9 Signs

aggressive parenting

 

According to Alan Kemp in his book Abuse in the Family, domestic violence is defined as “A form of maltreatment perpetrated by a person with whom the victim has or had a close personal relationship.” (Kemp, P.36)

Furthermore, the clinical and textbook definitions and categories of child psychological maltreatment found in Table 3-1 of Alan Kemp’s book, Abuse in the Family, on pages 72-77, can easily be applied to show it as a horrific form of domestic violence via psychological maltreatment.

This book is just one of many textbooks used to teach students and professionals about psychological maltreatment and the categories that make it up. Whether one believes in the term parental alienation or not, the following criteria help to show that certain behavior perpetrated by a parent can cause a child to withdraw their love from the other parent.  For the sake of this article, we will term this abuse as aggressive parenting.

9 Signs of Aggressive Parenting:

  • Rejecting (spurning)
  • Terrorizing
  • Corrupting
  • Denying essential stimulation, emotional responsiveness, or availability
  • Unreliable and inconsistent parenting
  • Mental health, medical, or educational neglect
  • Degrading/devaluing (spurning)
  • Isolating
  • Exploiting

An Explanation of the 9 Signs

By deliberately isolating the child from other family members and social supports, isolation is occurring.  The whole premise of aggressive parenting is to isolate and distance the children from the targeted parent or any other individual who supports the targeted parent.

If the aggressive parent uses threats or denigrating tactics, to force the child to comply, this can be seen as terrorizing.  As well, verbal denigration, harassment and exploitation of the targeted parent is very prominent and a key indicator of aggressive parenting.

In addition, domestic violence includes the exploitation and use of the child for personal gain.

Thus in aggressive parenting, when the child is used to destroy the targeted parent by denying visitation or a relationship between the other parent and the child or is used for monetary gains such as excessive expenses beyond child support, they are in effect committing domestic violence.  It is for these reasons that aggressive parenting or isolating the children from the Targeted Parent can be considered as a form of domestic violence.

Rejecting/Terrorizing

Let’s take this a bit further in its application. When a parent rejects a child because the child shows any love or affection for the targeted parent that is a form of abuse. This is not only a form of rejection but terrorization. In fact, a child’s refusal to come to the targeted parent’s home for fear of losing the aggressive parent’s conditional love is fear and fear is terror.

Corrupting

When an aggressive parent refuses to comply with court orders and tells the child they do not have to either, this is corrupting. It is teaching the child that they are above the law and therefore immune to the court’s authority.  When a parent files false allegations of abuse and convinces the child to do the same, this is corruption.

When an aggressive parent tells the child lies about the targeted parent, and that anything having to do with the targeted parent is illegal, immoral and disgusting, this is corrupting.  In fact, this is a form of discrimination and prejudice, which corrupts the child’s minds.

Denying Essential Stimulation, Emotional Responsiveness, or Availability

By refusing to allow the children to have a relationship with the targeted parent, for no reason other than their own need to control the ex-spouse, the aggressive parent is denying them the basic elements of stimulation, emotions, and availability with the targeted parent. In fact, the targeted parent has little to no opportunity to defend themselves against false allegations.

Though they will have you believe that they or the children feared for their lives and that the targeted parent was abusive, this is usually unsubstantiated or proven by the courts to be a fabrication. With no basis for this denial, the aggressive parent refuses their child a warm and loving relationship with the targeted parent.

Unreliable and Inconsistent Parenting

Since the children have been denied a relationship with the targeted parent, they have also been denied a reliable and consistent parenting situation and the aggressive parent has proven that they cannot parent consistently and reliably in the supporting of a two-parent relationship with the children.

Mental, Medical and Educational Neglect

When an aggressive parent refuses to comply with numerous separate court orders for counseling, they are denying their children’s mental health. Thus mental neglect has occurred as defined in the DSM IV as Malingering.

Denigrating/Devaluing

If despite numerous court orders or requests and recommendations, the aggressive parent continues to insult, verbally abuse and denigrate the child’s targeted parent in front of the child, this behavior degrades and devalues someone the child once respected and loved and in most cases, secretly wants a relationship with.

This disdain and disrespect for the targeted parent in front of the child is another form of psychological maltreatment as it permanently affects their view of the targeted parent, which transfers to their view of themselves. This creates a distorted sense of reality, of themselves and their ability to trust and accurately judge others.

Isolation

When a parent deliberately sabotages a relationship with the targeted parent by refusing to allow visits, calls, or any form of healthy communication, with no evidence of abuse, this is called isolation. Furthermore, when a parent has initially allowed continuous contact with the children during the separation and divorce period, but reneges on this, refusing visitation, especially when they find out their ex-spouse has a new partner, this is isolation and abuse.

This is also called Remarriage as a Trigger for Parental Alienation Syndrome and can be further reviewed in an article by Dr. Richard Warshak, There is no doubt this is isolation and thus psychological abuse.

Exploitation

When a parent uses the children as pawns to get back at their ex spouse for not loving them anymore or to control them further, this is exploitation.  When an aggressive parent uses the children and makes false allegations of abuse, terrorizing the children to state they hate the targeted parent, this is exploitation.  When a parent uses the children for monetary gains such as child support, but yet does not allow the children a relationship with the targeted parent, this is exploitation.

In Conclusion

When you add all these signs up, it is easy to see how Aggressive Parenting, can be classified as child psychological maltreatment in a divorce situation.  When you put it all together, the DSM sums up the aggressive parent quite nicely under Cluster B Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The aggressive parent willfully and without regard to the child or the targeted parent’s welfare, or the innocent extended family’s welfare, continually violates their rights and disregards their needs for a relationship. The aggressive parent callously puts their own desires, wants and needs above those of everyone else including their own child.

This all adds up to one thing, Domestic Violence in the form of psychological maltreatment.  So why does Child Protective Services refuses to protect the children from this form of abuse when the signs and symptoms are so clearly evident?

The post Is Your Ex An “Aggressive Parent?” Here Are 9 Signs appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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7 Signs Your Parent Is Narcissistic

7 Signs Your Parent Is Narcissistic

 

Many people in this community have been narcissistically abused as a child and my heart goes out to you if this has been your plight.

Today, I share with you the seven top signs I believe typify a narcissistic parent and how their behaviour can affect you as an adult.

The binds and trauma may still be present between you and your narcissistic parent – whether he or she is alive or not, and so it is my deepest wish that this video gives you answers, relief and a true solution to your pain.

 

 

Video Transcript

Maybe you do not realise that your parent was a narcissist because what you experienced as a child was your ‘normal.’

Or perhaps you do know.

Truly, it can be terribly devastating for those who did suffer a narcissistic parent, and my heart goes out to you if that is you.

In today’s TTV Episode I want to share with you the seven signs that I believe are indicators your parent is a narcissist – what these signs look like and how having a narcissistic parent may have affected you.

At the end of this episode, I also want to share with you hope … A knowing that even if abuse is all that you have ever known, you can heal from this.

Okay, before we get started, thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel and for supporting the Thriver Mission. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, I want to remind you to please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Alright, let’s look at this…

 

Number 1 Invalidation

Sadly, a narcissistic parent is self-absorbed and only interested in their own thoughts and feeling. It is common for this parent to not listen to you, not care what you are feeling, and to either force their will upon you or ignore your appeals to them, regardless of what is going on for you.

Because of this, you grew up believing that your thoughts, feelings, and desires were unimportant and, if expressed, would only bring further invalidation and disappointment.

This means, as an adult, you will tend to fit in with others, submerge your own needs, and you won’t speak up to express either your own needs or your values.

Maybe you have found it extremely difficult to even know what your values and needs are.

 

Number 2 Instability

Narcissistic instability means that one minute your parent could be engulfing and fawning over you and the next they are triggered, angered and even verbally or physically violent – and certainly emotionally malicious.

As a child, you may not have known what this parent was going to be like on a day-to-day, or even minute-to-minute basis.

Because there was be no rhyme or reason to your parent’s behaviour, and therefore nothing you could have done to predict or negate the outburst, as a child you learnt that ‘love’ was unstable and even dangerous.

If this is what you experienced, it is likely that you have suffered the anxiety of not knowing how to be safe in life in your own body, and especially with people who are close to you.

This means you might try to read people’s energy to be safe, and try to please them and calm them down to survive.

It can also mean you run towards abusive people, trying to fix them to make them love you and look after you, rather than detaching yourself and getting away from them.

As a child, you had to do all you could to keep your parents around and to survive with them.

 

Number 3 Exploitation

Commonly, a narcissistic parent will use a capable or attractive child to further their own cause of gaining narcissistic supply.

Rather than wanting their children to succeed for the child’s sake, this parent makes it all about themselves – the fulfilment of their own ego, complete with the admiration and envy of others.

Often a child will be pushed into a direction, with high demands and pressure, that the child may not necessarily want to do or perform. This child is the golden child, who receives a ton of attention and energy, yet is being exploited for the narcissist’s own need to feel significant.

This child loses his or her personality, dreams and wishes, and becomes a mere extension of the narcissistic parent. And when he or she doesn’t perform that role, is punished or downgraded.

If this happened to you, you will have embedded within your Inner Being programs of conditional love. This means that you will be very hard on yourself. Also, you may find it very hard to relax and take time out, because you are always trying to get the job done and done right.

You may believe that people will only ever love you for what you can achieve, and not for who you are.

 

Number 4 Manipulation

Guilting is a very common weapon used by a narcissistic parent. This parent may remind you constantly of what they do for you and how ungrateful you are if you don’t abide by their demands.

The guilting can turn into abusive shaming, if this parent has set upon you as the scapegoat – meaning blaming you for the state that parent is in or the way the family is.

Maybe you were compared to a sibling, and insulted regarding how you didn’t measure up to him or her.

This will cause the adult you to be susceptible to being blamed for other’s problems, which they refuse to take responsibility for themselves. You may also find yourself taking the blame, feeling shameful and guilty, and trying to fix things that are not your fault.

 

Number 5 Neglect

The neglect of a narcissistic parent can come in many different shapes and forms. Common are the ignoring of the needs of their children – emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

When it is all about the narcissistic parent, then others are unimportant. It’s narcissistic selfishness and self-absorption. A narcissist’s primary driver is narcissistic supply, which means getting attention and acclaim from others.

It is very common, whilst the parent is seeking supply through career, socialising, self-indulgence or pastimes, that the child will be left with the other parent or even, from a young age, on their own.

Also, many narcissists suffer from the secondary addiction (narcissistic supply being the first) of substance abuse. Addicts are unavailable parents. Narcissistic addicts are doubly so.

If this was your plight, then you learned from an early age that your life was up to you. You found it difficult to trust others and let them in. You may struggle to delegate, let people in or play team with others. You most likely hold the belief, ‘It’s always up to me. Others don’t support me.’

Or, you may crave attention and affection so much that you are highly susceptible to bonding with and trusting people far too quickly, rather than taking your time to get to know them.

 

Number 6 Superficiality

The narcissistic parent may have a completely different persona in public to within the home.

People think the narcissistic parent is lovely and has a beautiful nature; that they love and adore their family. Little do they know the truth of what goes on behind closed doors when ‘others’ are not around.

Image, pretences and having others envy and think that the narcissist has the ‘perfect’ life, is all part of a False Self constructing a False Life.

If you experienced this as a child, you may be hard on yourself regarding how you appear to others and believe that people will only accept you if you are ‘perfect’.

You will have gone through the devastation of being treated like an object, so as to present a perfect image, rather than as a blood, flesh and soul human being with feelings.

You may get into relationships with people who objectify you, and you may even do this to yourself (rather than connect to your own true feelings and needs).

 

Number 7 Control

If a child wants to express their individuality and seems to be breaking away from the family mould, then there are methods that a narcissistic parent may use to exert control.

One of them is demeaning the child’s worth, dreams and wishes, to stop him or her succeeding in breaking free. Another is to express jealousy and hostility with anything that the child wants to do away from the family. This can be directed at friends or this child’s love partner.

By keeping the child stuck and minimalised, the narcissist gets to boost his or her own insecure ego.

Another method of control can be to wrap the child up in duties and chores or a family business, or even family commitments, so that they can’t have a life of their own.

The guilting and demanding of service from a child can continue even when the narcissist is elderly, keeping the child bonded throughout their adult life.

If this has been your experience, it is likely that you feel obligated and tied to the burden of looking after others and don’t feel free enough to pursue your own dreams and goals. You may believe it is selfish to do so.

It is NOT true that You Can’t Heal!

If this video related to you, I so hope it has validated what you have been through.

I want you to know, with all of my heart, that it is NOT true that it will take decades (or a lifetime) of therapy to recover from the terrible traumas you suffered as a child.

Likewise, it is NOT true that it will take years and years for you to learn how to BE different in relationships, or for you to have healthy, reciprocal relationships of kindness, love and trust, where you can get your needs met (as well as keep healthily loving others)!

It is also NOT true that you are stuck with a narcissistic parent and the hooks that they have in you for the rest of your life.

If this has been your struggle, please come with me and let me show you how you can break free in the fastest, most guilt-free and direct way you could ever know possible.

I promise you it IS possible, and today I can help you start by clicking this link.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

As always I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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How to enforce a child support order when the paying parent lives outside of Texas

How to enforce a child support order when the paying parent lives outside of Texas

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

One of the most helpless feelings that a parent can experience is being in a position where you are not receiving the court ordered child support that you are entitled to. This can leave you vulnerable to the ups and downs of your own income leaving you little wiggle room to plan and budget for your family. On another level, it can and should anger you because your child’s other parent is placing other responsibilities ahead of providing for their child. Having someone essentially tell you that your child isn’t that important can be extremely hurtful- especially when that other person is your child’s parent.

Make no mistake, you have options available to you if and when your child’s other parent does not fulfill their end of the bargain when it comes to paying child support. The most straightforward and practical option when it comes to bringing the violations of your child support order to the attention of a judge is called an Enforcement suit.

An enforcement lawsuit seeks to do exactly what it sounds like- enforce something, namely a court order. You would file this lawsuit just like a Divorce or Original child custody suit. The only difference is that this the second case under the original case number that you were assigned in your child custody/divorce case. In this suit you would be notifying the judge of the other parent’s violations of the child support order and can then request “relief” from the court in the form of money and possible jail time for your child’s other parent.

It takes effort and planning on your part to get to the point where you can successfully present your case to a judge. Before then you are just another parent who is not receiving the child support payments you are supposed to be. Sometimes taking that first step towards learning about child support enforcement cases is the most difficult step in the process.

What happens, though, when your child’s other parent does not live close to your child or even within the State of Texas? Is the process the same for parents that do live in-State? Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC will detail this subject.

People moving frequently is a reality in today’s world

As economies change, the job market changes as well. Gone are the days where a person is well guaranteed to grow up and live in one geographic location. Many times, people will up and move not only across a city but across the country for a variety of reasons.

Family courts cannot force you or your child’s other parent to reside in a certain place. However, a family court does have jurisdiction to limit where your child resides. Many parents choose to include what is known as a geographic restriction within their original court order. This geographic restriction often limits where your child can live to the county where your case was filed and any county that borders it. Family law language would term this as any county “contiguous” to the county where your case has been filed.

I have seen families in the Houston area use Harris County and any county contiguous to Harris. I have seen parents state that their child can live in Harris or Montgomery counties. I have even seen some parents state that the child must remain in a school district due to the excellent reputation of the schools. Whatever option is chosen, you need to know whether a geographic restriction is in place for you child and if so where your child can reside.

Getting back to the specific topic of this blog post, it happens that sometimes parents will cross state lines and begin to live in another state even if a geographic restriction is in place for their child. This parent is most frequently the non custodial parent- meaning that their child does not live with him or her primarily. There is nothing against the “rules” to do this. Again, a court cannot tell this parent where he or she can live. However, what it does do is open up the places where the child can reside. The reason being is that once the non custodial parent leaves the geographic region, so can the custodial parent and child.

Out of sight, out of mind unfortunately

Once your child’s other parent moves out of state it becomes an unfortunate situation that because he or she does not see your child as frequently their motivation to pay child support can  decrease a great deal. Maybe their move was predicated upon the promise of a job in the new location that did not actually come together as planned. Whatever the reason, if you are left waiting on child support from a parent that lives out of state here is what you need to know.

There are procedures in place that all states follow that allow for parents to enforce child support orders when the parent who owes child support resides outside of the home state. The Uniform Interstate Child Support Act (UIFSA) is the federal statute that contains the specific laws that pertain to this subject. In Texas the Office of the Attorney General is the governmental body charged with overseeing the complex child support structure in Texas.

You as the custodial parent would need to send the child support order to whatever body governs child support enforcement cases in the State where your child’s other parent resides. Then the order is reviewed and it will be sent on to the county judge where the other parent lives. It is in that court that child support enforcement cases are hard.

You may be asking how an out of state court would so easily enforce the child support laws of Texas. To answer this question you would need to know that UIFSA operates based on the legal certainty that the out of state court would honor Texas state law and the court in the other state would apply our laws to the process in whatever state the other parent is residing in.

What happens if the other parent does not pay

Whatever collection methods are approved by Texas law will be enforced in the out of State court. Garnishing the parent’s wages is a possibility if the parent’s employer can be found out. Missed child support payments can be made known to credit bureaus and liens can be placed on the property of that parent. Finally licenses like hunting, fishing, driving, commercial driving, etc. can be suspended for the failure to pay court ordered child support.

In extreme situations you can ask a Texas court to hold a non-paying parent in confinement for a period not to exceed 180 days or six months. Depending on the amount of child support that is actually owed this may be an option. Either way, an enforcement case is pretty straightforward in the sense that you must show the missed payments and the amount of money that is owed. There is not much the other parent can do to counteract your alleged proof of the violations.

Experience is essential when managing a child support enforcement case

If you intend to pursue a child support enforcement case against your child’s other parent it is in your best interest to become as well versed in the child support laws of our state as possible. If at all possible you should hire an attorney who has handled these type of cases before so that you can be as prepared as possible heading into the case.

After reading today’s blog post if you have any questions about the material that we covered please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations with our licensed family law attorneys six days a week. Whether you live in Baytown, Katy, Conroe or Tomball we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and take pride in doing so. Before you rush into a case without much knowledge of the process or the law it is best to meet with an attorney who has been there and done that. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are those attorneys and we thank you for your consideration.

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



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Visitation With The Non-Custodial Parent

10 Tips To Help Your Child Enjoy Summer Visitation With The Non-Custodial Parent

By Dr. Linda Mintle for Kids & Divorce

Visitation With The Non-Custodial Parent

 

Summer visitation and holidays with a non-custodial parent can be a time of challenge for children of divorce. It may be unsettling for a child to vacation with a non-custodial parent. From the child’s point of view, he/she will be in strange places, with strange people, with a parent less familiar with daily habits and needs. This may create some fear and anxiety about the vacation time.

So if you are a non-custodial parent planning a vacation with your child, or you have custody and are wondering how to prepare your child to be with the non-custodial parent, here are some suggestions to make your child feel more comfortable.

10 Tips To Help Your Child Enjoy Summer Visitation With The Non-Custodial Parent

1. You and the non-custodial parent make vacation plans for your child together. As incredible as this sounds, it will be easier on your child if you both work together. Arrangements should be made in advance and agreed upon.

2. The itinerary for the trip must be shared. The custodial parent needs to know where the child will be–phone numbers and addresses. I know some non-custodial parents resist this idea but in case of an emergency, the custodial parent needs to know how to find his/her child.

3. Send copies of important medical information on the trip. The non-custodial parent needs to know how to handle a medical emergency or problem and have the pediatrician’s phone number, insurance information, and medical records.

4. Be careful not to put guilt on your child. Your child should never be made to feel guilty because he/she is going on vacation with the other parent.

5. Work out any disagreements about the vacation away from the child before the vacation. Don’t put your child in the middle of disagreements between you and your ex.

6. Plan for separation anxiety. Send a photo with your child. Include his/her favorite blanket, pillow, animal or toy. Discuss ways to communicate–email, telephone, postcards or letters.

7. Be positive about the vacation. Talk nicely about the non-custodial parent and help your child anticipate a great time.

8. Normalize fears and anxiety. Tell your child it’s normal to feel a little anxious. Hopefully, that anxiety will fade as the trip progresses.

9. Send a camera and smile at the time of pick-up. Now is not the time to bring up unresolved issues with your ex.

10. Pray. Keep the non-custodial parent and the vacation on your prayer list. Pray for protection and positive interactions between parent and child.

“Originally posted by Linda Ranson Jacobs on the Kids & Divorce blog at, blog.dc4k.org  Copyright © 2013, DivorceCare for Kids. Used by permission.”

The post 10 Tips To Help Your Child Enjoy Summer Visitation With The Non-Custodial Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Vacationing With Your Kids as a Single Parent

Vacationing With Your Kids as a Single Parent

Vacationing with your kids should be a highlight of the summer. Whether it’s simply relaxing close to home, seeing different parts of the country or world, or visiting friends and family, vacations are a time for families to connect and make new memories.

The post Vacationing With Your Kids as a Single Parent appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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your ex is the fun parent

Disney Dad: How to Cope When Your Ex Is The Parent

your ex is the fun parent

 

Do you ever feel as if your ex is acting like the proverbial grand marshal of the parade at Disney World, fiercely entertaining and wooing your kids, while you are the one who is left pushing the stroller and carrying the diaper bag?

If this sounds familiar, you might be dealing with a “Disney Dad”! Disney Dad is defined as the “fun parent” or the person who does not worry about the day-to-day grind.

How to Cope When Your Ex Is The Fun One

A Definite Lack of Fairy Dust

It may appear your ex has set up shop in The Happiest Place on Earth and turned you into the villain, but think about it this way: He feels terrible about the fact he is not home when the kids go to bed each night and is incredibly focused on making up for that in any way he can. Now, realize that some of these feelings may be intensified and heightened if he is the one who was responsible for your split or who initiated the divorce.

I can guarantee that while a forty-eight-hour, all-inclusive trip to the Magic Kingdom is a lot of fun in the heat of the moment, when they are tired and done at the end of the day, they just want to fall asleep on Mommy.

How to Avoid Feeling like the Runner-Up

This new dynamic in your life can be hard—and it can feel bad. I am quite sure you have thought, “Well, I could be ‘Fun Mommy’ if I had to parent only every other weekend, did not have to worry about homework getting done, and did not have to think about a million other responsibilities day in and day out.” However, your life right now requires you to care about the minutiae—“the stuff that is not fun.”

I encourage you to think about your role in your children’s lives and what that means to them. Remind yourself that love cannot be bought and that children understand when a parent is there to support them, nurture them, and comfort them.  Learn how to cope better by creating a barrier and not worrying about what happens when your child is on Disney Dad’s time. This might go against your most basic instincts as a parent, but for your sanity, I encourage you to master this.

Yes, Disney World is a very fun place to visit, but at the end of the day, a child craves stability and consistency. As your children grow, they will develop an appreciation for the parent who got it done, day in and day out.

They will admire the parent who took time out of her day to get them to soccer practices and ballet rehearsal; they will appreciate that Mom helped them with their homework and made them brush their teeth before bed. Take comfort in the thought that while a weekend vacation might be nice, there is no place like home.

The post Disney Dad: How to Cope When Your Ex Is The Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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11 Tips for Managing Summer Vacation as a Divorced Parent

11 Tips for Managing Summer Vacation as a Divorced Parent

Tips and ideas to help make summer vacation simple and calm post divorce.

The post 11 Tips for Managing Summer Vacation as a Divorced Parent appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Changing A Child’s Last Name In Ohio When You Are an Unmarried Parent

Changing A Child’s Last Name In Ohio When You Are an Unmarried Parent

Changing a child’s last name in Ohio when you are an unmarried parent can be a complicated process. Learn more about the process here.

The post Changing A Child’s Last Name In Ohio When You Are an Unmarried Parent appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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