Helpful FAQs – Click on Questions to Learn More
Where to pay child support? In Texas, unless a court orders otherwise, all child support is to be paid to: Texas State Disbursement Unit (SDU) PO Box 659791, San Antonio, TX 78265-9791.
To start receiving child support, you must first get a court order. To get a court order, typically a lawsuit affecting the child must be filed against the other parent in the county where you and the child live. Certain jurisdiction issues may cause the lawsuit to be filed where the other parent lives if the other parent lives out of the state. If you are in the Houston area, a Houston child support lawyer can help you.
Technically, a custodial parent can file after 1 missed payment, but in practice it’s a good idea to wait for at least 3 missed payments to show the non-custodial parent chose to repeatedly disobey the court’s order and not pay. Proof of multiple nonpayments makes for a much stronger enforcement case. Child support nonpayment is a big deal and obligees may seek an attorney to enforce their rights by showing a pattern of nonpayment.
The Texas Attorney General helps parents obtain basic low-contest child custody and support orders, as well as modification and enforcement of such court orders. Private attorneys do these and much more, including customized orders and enforcement of possession and access. Note, the Texas AG is frequently involved when the child receives state benefits (Medicaid, TANF, etc.), and may sometimes intervene into divorce and child custody lawsuits to protect state interests.
Not automatically, but children 12 years old and up may be interviewed by the Judge to tell the Court their desire. More can be read on this topic in the article The Age a Child Can Decide Which Parent to Live With Under Texas Law.
The length of divorce is at least 2-months, since there is a mandatory 60 day waiting period from the initial filing until when the court can grant the divorce. The 60 days can be waived under certain circumstances. Without the 60 day waiting period, the whole divorce process can take mere days. While most agreed divorce cases last between 3 to 6 months, some contentious divorces last years. The length often depends on how much contest there is between the parties regarding children and property.
No, a majority of divorce cases settle or partially settle between the spouses. Remaining disputes in a partially settled case are presented to the court.
Not as much as in the past. The court’s primary focus these days will be on the children, if there are any of the marriage. Of course, if adultery occurred, courts will tend to award a disproportionate amount of the marital estate to the victim spouse if it can be proven marital money or property were used to further the adulterous affair. But if the adultery cannot be proven or there were no community funds involved, it becomes more difficult to push a court do something to punish the adulterer.
Unless there is some court injunction against corporal punishment, absence an agreement between parents, parents may use reasonable methods to discipline their children. There may be a thin line between discipline and abuse. Parents may want legal help when the line gets crossed.
Pierre-Louis & Associates, PLLC is a full-service family law firm focused on helping families handle matters involving: divorce and property division; custody and support; wills and estate planning; and family-based immigration. Further information can be found at www.macpierrelouis.com. The firm can be reached at 832-413-4024.
The entire Texas Family Code (TFC) can be found on the Texas Legislature's website here: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/?link=FA
Possession terms begin at CHAPTER 153. CONSERVATORSHIP, POSSESSION, AND ACCESS. The Standard Possession Order begins at Section 153.3101.
Yes and No. The OAG does not represent any parent or child, only the State of Texas. As the IV-D child support agency for the state, the OAG seeks to establish and enforce child support orders for the benefit of children. But as long as jurisdictional requirements are met, the OAG will conveniently place into an initial child support order basic possession and access terms to protect the non-custodial parent's right to see his child, usually this includes Standard Possession Order terms. Future possession modifications, contested possession disputes, and interstate possession will usually require the help of private attorneys to resolve. It should be noted a parent can use the help of both the OAG and a private attorney at the same time since the OAG ultimately does not look after the interest of a parent. For example, at a Child Support Review Process (CSRP) negotiation meeting, parties can bring their own attorney to help them negotiate support and possession terms with the other parent.
No. Although it is unlawful to not pay child support when one is ordered to do so, per the Texas Family Code, TFC 105.006, the nonpayor cannot be denied access to his child by the other parent when he fails to pay child support. The obligee's recourse is to appeal to the judge and sue the obligor in court because the issues of child support and child possession are independent of each other. Not performing one does not justify not performing the other. Likewise, if a custodial parent denies the non-custodial parent possession or access to his child, the non-custodial parent cannot stop paying child support; that is contempt of court. The non-custodial parent's recourse is to sue the custodial parent in court, again because the issues of child support and child possession are independent of each other. There is no point in hurting the child twice by resorting to punishing the other parent for their wrongdoing. Rather, parents should file a lawsuit against the other parent in court instead.