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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

Fathers hoping to solve unmarried child custody issues

For a long time, it has been presumed that mothers provide more care for their children. Though in many cases this can be true, there are countless fathers who want equal time to parent their children. However, for Texas dads who aren't in a relationship with their children's moms, child custody issues involving parents who did not marry one another can be harder to navigate. One group of fathers from out of state is hoping to change all of that.

The men in this story want joint custody of children to be the default option when determining a custody agreement. Historically, courts have sided with mothers when determining who should be the primary caregiver in a relationship where two parents were never married. The men have testified in Washington, D.C. regarding their belief that laws do not currently exist to protect their relationship with their children and in support of a bill they helped draft to accomplish their goals.

Law enforcement makes arrests for child support nonpayment

Children deserve the best care possible, even when their parents are not in a relationship with one another. Most parents are more than happy to provide for their kids, even when that includes making child support payments to the other parent. However, some parents don't make their court-ordered payments. Their reasons for doing so are varied, but that doesn't change the fact that the children still need financial support. A joint operation here in Texas recently resulted in several arrests for unpaid child support.

The operation was conducted by representatives from a local sheriff's office and the Department of Social Services Child Support Unit. Both mothers and fathers who had reportedly failed to make their allotted child support payments were the target of the investigation. There were 16 cases the operation considered and 13 people ended up arrested.

NCJFCJ launches website to help with military divorce

The nation's armed forces sacrifice a great deal for the freedoms of the civilians who live here. It is well known that military families often endure significant hardship that can lead to divorce. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges wanted to offer military families a resource for dealing with difficult family-related issues. The council launched a website with the hope that families in Texas and all over the country will be better able to navigate a military divorce and other family struggles common to those in the armed forces.

The NCJFCJ created a project called the National Resource Center on Military-connected Families and the Courts with the intention of helping court officers who assist military families with both juvenile and family court cases. Certain legal matters involve both civilian and military court systems, and the project will help these two worlds collaborate in the best interest of families. The website will give easier access to vital information and needed resources.

Military divorce rates slowly dropping

Those who choose to serve our country typically do so at great sacrifice to themselves. One of those sacrifices that Texas service members often make is in regard to their marriage. The uncertainty of a career in the military is often too much for many couples, and military divorce is not uncommon. However, recent research shows that the rate of divorce among troops is declining at a slow pace.

The most recent study compared the divorce rates among service members in the last two years. Three percent of married military members got a divorce in 2018. Researchers discovered that the rate of divorce dropped 0.1% from 2017 to 2018. One expert says that this is in line with trends from the last 10 years, which show a steady decline.

Man jailed for over $18K in unpaid child support

When a child relies on the monetary support that one parent is ordered to pay to another, not receiving it can have far-reaching consequences. The needs of children cannot be overstated, and though some parents may not like it, this also goes for the needs of the custodial parent. However, many Texas parents are unable to make their court-ordered payments for various reasons, which can be devastating in the long run for everyone involved. This is what one out-of-state man is facing after he was jailed for his failure to pay child support.

Authorities say that the man was ordered to pay child support in 2011 for the next fifteen years. His payments were set at $215 per month. In 2017, those payments were increased to $265 per month in conjunction with a sentence of probation. At the end of that year, he owed over $18,000 in unpaid child support payments.

MLB's Miguel Cabrera asks judge to reconsider child support order

Raising children is a wonderful, but often difficult job. A whole new dynamic comes into play when the two parents involved are not in a relationship. Though many of them are able to make it work, there are other Texas parents who struggle to determine visitation, custody, financial support and other factors. This appears to be the situation for one Major League Baseball player, Miguel Cabrera, who is challenging the recent order for child support for two of his children with his former girlfriend.

The court decided that Cabrera must pay $20,000 a month in child support to his ex-girlfriend for their two children, who are aged 3 and 6. Cabrera believes that $13,000 a month is a more reasonable amount. The judge in his case also ruled that he should pay for his ex's home, worth $1 million, life insurance policies for the kids and almost $90,000 in unpaid child support. Representatives for Cabrera claim that the ex-girlfriend is only suing him because he will not leave his wife, with whom he has three other children.

Child custody: Grandparents appeal to lawmakers for visitation

When issues surrounding child custody arise, people generally think of how parents will be affected. Of course, there are other people in children's lives that may also be affected by divorce and child custody agreements, including grandparents. When a divorce occurs, or two parents are not in a relationship with one another, grandparents may struggle to determine where they fit in the lives of their grandchildren. A group of Texas grandparents recently appealed to state lawmakers, requesting changes in the law that would strengthen their rights to obtain visitation.

State Representative Harold Dutton Jr. has put forth a bill in the Texas House of Representatives that would make grandparents' ability to see their grandchildren easier. Current law states that grandparent visitation is only granted if one parent is dead, in prison, mentally incapacitated or incompetent or otherwise not a part of the child's life. The grandparent must also provide evidence that the child's life will be negatively impacted without grandparent visitation and an expert witness has to testify on the grandparent's behalf. The new law only requires evidence of impact to the child's life.

Woman gets $150,000 in unpaid child support after 50 years

Texas parents who receive child support payments from their children's other parent rely on that income to care for their kids. If those payments aren't made, it can put financial, mental and emotional strain on the parent and the children as everyone struggles to make ends meet. Though it can sometimes seem as though hope is lost when a parent refuses to make these payments, one woman's story is inspiring people around the nation. At 74 years old, she will soon be getting $150,000 in unpaid child support from her ex-husband.

The woman and her husband divorced in 1970 and the man received a court order to pay child support to his ex-wife. The woman alleges that her ex's first check for child support bounced and that he moved out of the country afterwards. She attempted to move on with her life and provide for her daughter on her own income as an interior designer. The daughter in question, who is now in her 50s, said that she suffered due to her mother being forced to work so much in order to provide for them.

Six parents arrested for failure to pay child support

Most parents are only too happy to care and provide for their children. This can hold true even if parents who share children are not in a relationship with one another. However, for varying reasons, some parents have difficulty supporting their children financially. Even if a parent has a valid reason for struggling to make child support payments, it does not negate the responsibility to do so. Local Texas police recently made several arrests of parents who had failed to make their proper payments.

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, sent out a news release regarding the arrests. He stated that his office's Child Support Division was responsible for the sweep. Local authorities were used to conduct the operation. Paxton said that parents have a moral responsibility to ensure that their children receive proper care. His hope is that this type of enforcement will have a positive impact on children's futures.

Nonprofit helps fathers make child support payments

When two parents are not in a relationship with one another, it often means that one of them is the primary caregiver for any children they share and the other makes child support payments to that parent. Though many Texas parents meet their obligation to pay child support without any problem, some parents do not. One out-of-state program seeks to rectify that by helping fathers, who frequently are the ones making child support payments, honor their responsibility and stay connected to their kids.

The nonprofit was founded in 2010 and aims to help fathers stay involved in their children's lives. It targets those who have difficulty making child support payments. One father was ordered by judge to utilize the program instead of being sent to jail for a third time for unpaid child support. The program offers job training, legal assistance, parenting classes and other helpful services. The man now makes his payments every month on time and interacts with his children on a regular basis.

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