Archive for the ‘Legal Tips’ Category

Texas Family Law Attorney Explains What To Do If The Child Support Payments Stop Coming

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

When the court issued an interim or final child support order as part of your divorce, you may have felt a sense of relief. Prior to the issuance of that order, it is possible that you were receiving very little money, infrequent payments, or even no payments at all from your child(ren)’s other parent. For many people, a court order requiring them to pay child support does make them take the obligation seriously, and they make their payments as required by the order. Unfortunately, even something as serious as a court order does not ensure that all parents who have been ordered to pay child support will make their payments.

Post-judgment issues regarding child support are, unfortunately, fairly common. All across America, parents are struggling to make ends meet when they do not receive the child support payments that they are owed. Sometimes, parents are unable to get by with the financial resources that they have available, and they turn to public assistance in order to provide their children with food, health insurance, and other things that they need. In 2009, an estimate by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement indicated that American parents have failed to pay over one hundred million dollars of child support. Half of the money was owed directly to parents who should have been receiving payments, and the other half was owed to the government to pay for the public assistance which had to be given to parents who were not receiving child support that they were due.

If you are supposed to be receiving child support and you children’s other parent is not making the payments that they were ordered to make, you may wonder whether applying for public assistance is your only option. Some parents do find that they have no other option, even after making drastic changes to their family’s budget. Other parents find that they are able to get by after making some changes to their household finances. For example, some parents have found it useful to create their monthly budget using only income that they earn themselves, or with a new partner or spouse.

One thing that parents must understand regarding child support is that it is not connected to possession and access. If your children’s other parent fails to pay child support, you may be tempted to prevent them from seeing or talking to your kids. Don’t do it. The consequences for both you and your children are simply not worth it. Failing to abide by orders related to possession and access will get you into trouble with the court. Even more importantly, children have a natural desire to have strong relationships with both of their parents. Interfering with your children’s relationship with their other parent in this way, or in any other way, can complicate your relationship with them, as well as the way that they feel about themselves.

There are legal options available when parents fail to pay child support as ordered. A Texas Family Law Attorney can help you in this regard, as can the Office of Child Support Enforcement. Some of the legal avenues which are used to collect child support include placing liens on property, garnishing wages, suspending driver’s licenses and professional licenses, taking tax refunds, and even jail time. If you have questions about child support, or any other issues related to your divorce or family law case, contact attorney Alex Tyra today, to schedule your free consultation. We can be reached at (903) 753-7499, or you may visit us online to submit a convenient online contact form.




Why Texas Spouses Should Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Prenuptial agreements traditionally have been viewed by many as a way high net worth individuals protect their financial interests if a marriage does not work out.  This traditional notion is fairly dated because a growing number of middle class families are using prenuptial agreements to provide predictability and fairness in settling issues arising in marriages that end in divorce.  Although there is room to quibble about the methods involved in the calculation of the divorce rate, it has been widely asserted that almost half of all marriages will end in divorce.  Even if the percentage of marriages that fail is less than fifty percent, there is little question that many marriages do not survive for a range of reasons including incompatibility, financial pressure, infidelity and other issues.  Longview, Texas Divorce Attorney Alex Tyra provides an overview of the benefits to be garnered from a premarital agreement for those who eventually face a marital dissolution.

Reduce the Cost of Divorce: While many divorces proceed efficiently on an amicable basis, there also are a fair number of divorces that are highly contentious.  Divorces that are bitterly contested can cause litigation costs and attorneys fee expenses to escalate.  When assets are difficult to value or have a mixed character between a marital property and separate property interest, the process of property division can get complicated.  Further, there is no fixed formula for the calculation of alimony so it can be difficult to predict how much alimony will be awarded or the duration of such alimony.  If these issues are aggressively litigated, the cost of resolving the issues can be costly so a mutually acceptable agreement negotiated prior to marriage can conserve the financial resources available to the parties to rebuild financially.

Obtain More Stable Judgments: There is a common tendency to presume that once a divorce judgment is reached, a marital dissolution is concluded so that the parties will not need to continue to cope with the additional stress, expense and inconvenience of going back to court.  However, negotiated settlements, which include those arising out of a premarital agreement, tend to be more satisfactory to both parties than orders imposed by a judge.  If a prenuptial agreement is negotiated and reasonably acceptable to both parties, it reduces the probability of repeatedly needing to return to court for enforcement and modification proceedings.

Protect Kids & Grandchildren from Prior Relationships: If you have a legacy that you wish to leave to your kids and/or grandchildren, this can be complicated when you have prior marriages.  A prenuptial agreement can provide a means for you to ensure that both your current spouse and your children from prior relationships are provided for in the event of a divorce.

Prevent Disputes about the Proper Characterization of Assets: One complication that arises in many divorces involves disputes regarding whether a particular asset is community property that is ordinarily divided between the parties or a separate property asset that usually is kept by the party who acquired the asset.  A prenuptial agreement can provide documentation of the parties’ intentions regarding the character of these assets so that it is clear that certain assets were anticipated to remain separate property.

Protecting an Established Business: When a spouse enters a marriage with an already established business, this spouse can ensure that the separate property business that has been built prior to marriage is protected by the prenuptial agreement.  When either party has substantially more assets, a successful business or a significant anticipated inheritance, a prenuptial agreement can protect these types of separate property assets.

If you are involved in a divorce or you have specific questions about prenuptial agreements, Texas family law attorney Alex Tyra offers a free consultation so that he can help you understand your rights and options.  We invite you to contact us in our Longview, Texas office at 903-753-7499 or visit our website and submit a case contact form.