Skilled Assistance With Child Custody And Support Issues
When the relationship between two parents is ending, a parent may be worried about how the end of that relationship will impact their day-to-day contact and involvement with their child.
How Will Decisions About Custody Be Made?
Under Texas Family Code Section 153.002, the best interest of the child is the court’s primary consideration in deciding issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to a child. The Texas Supreme Court has identified some factors a court can consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interest. These factors fall within three broad categories: (1) caring for the child, (2) maintaining family relationships, and (3) parental fitness.
Determining how the facts of your case align with the best interest factors the court will be weighing is where the advice of an experienced family law attorney is crucial to the success of your case. To prepare for your consultation to discuss your custody case, you should be ready to discuss the following:
- The physical and emotional needs of your child
- Whether either parent poses a physical or emotional danger
- The stability of each parent’s home
- Each parent’s plans for the child
- The amount of cooperation between parents
- The parenting skills of each parent
- The child’s primary caregiver before the relationship ended
- The child’s preference
- Where the parents reside in relation to each other
- The interest of keeping siblings together
- Whether each parent would promote the relationship between the child and the other parent
- The fitness of each parent (For example, is there drug or alcohol abuse or has the child been exposed to sexual conduct by a parent?)
Some factors that the court is not permitted to consider in making decisions regarding conservatorship and possession of and access to a child are a parent’s marital status, gender, race or religion (with the exception of illegal, immoral or harmful religious beliefs).
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice. Each custody case depends upon the particular facts of that case. For a confidential evaluation of your child custody matter, please call Kathryn at 469-888-8829 or fill out the form to schedule a consultation.
Determining Child Support In Texas
Generally speaking, child support is payable for a child until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Exceptions to this rule include events that remove the disabilities of minority, such as marriage, enlistment in the armed forces, death of the child, or court order removing the disabilities of minority. In addition, child support may be ordered beyond a child’s 18 birthday if the child requires substantial care and supervision because of a physical or mental disability.
Child support is typically paid monthly by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent through the state child support disbursement unit. In most cases, the amount of child support to be paid is based on guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code that consider the income of the non-custodial parent after deductions for social security taxes, federal income tax, state income tax (if applicable), union dues, and the amount of the monthly health and dental insurance premium to insure the parties’ child. In certain circumstances, the court may order monthly child support payments above the amount established by the guidelines.
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice. Each child support case depends upon the particular facts of that case. To determine how the Texas child support guidelines apply to your case and to determine whether you may be eligible to pay or receive above-guideline child support, please contact Pruitt Law Group, PLLC, and schedule a confidential consultation.
Talk To A Highly Experienced Lawyer About Your Unique Situation
When you work with family law attorney Kathryn Pruitt and her team at Pruitt Law Group, PLLC, your child custody and support case is in caring, skilled hands. Kathryn has been a lawyer for more than 27 years and has devoted herself fully to family law since 2004. Kathryn and the lawyers working with her are committed to helping clients negotiate a workable solution to their custody and child support matters whenever possible. She believes that the parents are often in a better position than the judge to determine what is in their child’s best interest and what will be mutually beneficial.
Of course, not all custody and child support disputes can be settled outside of court. If you and your child’s other parent cannot reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation, Kathryn and her team are accomplished litigators who will zealously advocate for your rights and your child’s rights in court.
Whether you plan to pay child support or receive it, Kathryn and the lawyers on her team are passionate about protecting their clients’ rights. Call 469-888-8829 to schedule a consultation. She is conveniently located in Frisco and works with clients in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, Lewisville, Denton, McKinney, Allen, Dallas and throughout the Metroplex.
Modification & Enforcement Of Orders
Making Changes To Existing Orders
As the parties move forward with their lives following the conclusion of a divorce or child custody lawsuit, a material and substantial change may occur for a party or a child. When a material and substantial change makes a term in your existing custody or child support orders unworkable, it is necessary to petition the court for a modification. A petition for modification may seek a modification of conservatorship (including the right to establish the primary residence of the child and the geographic area of such residence), possession of and access to the child, child support or spousal support.
Examples of common issues that may support a modification include relocation, change in employment status, disability, and changes in a child’s schedule that occur as a child approaches adulthood.
Having seasoned, compassionate counsel to advise you during life changes may prove invaluable to maintaining your relationship with your child. As one former client stated, “My family issues continued over several years. As new issues arose, Kathryn was available to pick up where we had left off. The continuity of her service was tremendously valuable.”
Enforcing Existing Court Orders
If a party violates the terms of a divorce or custody decree, an enforcement case may be in order.
If your former spouse has failed to give you property or pay an amount he or she was ordered to pay under the decree (including but not limited to a property division equalization payment, spousal maintenance or contractual alimony), you should consult with an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible. In the case of property division matters, there are time limitations in the Texas Family Code that will bar your claims if you wait too long.
Enforcement matters may also relate to parenting plan provisions, such as one parent’s failure to surrender the child to the other parent at the end of a possession period, failure to pay child support, failure to provide health insurance as ordered, failure to reimburse uninsured medical expenses, and other matters.
If the other party has violated your divorce or custody orders, it is important to seek experienced family law counsel as quickly as possible, as the Texas Family Code imposes deadlines on prosecuting such cases. Kathryn and her team have substantial experience in prosecuting and defending enforcement cases. If the other party is violating your court orders, or they have accused you of violating your court orders, contact Pruitt Law Group, PLLC, to schedule a consultation. An experienced attorney will review the facts of your case, provide a candid assessment and recommend the best course of action.