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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

Over 30 people arrested for failure to pay child support

When the parents of children are not in a relationship with one another, it is often for the best. However, that doesn't mean that the children don't need both parents in some capacity. For many families, it may mean that one parent will make child support payments to the other parent to provide care for the children. If a parent fails to make those payments, it can have a detrimental effect on the child's life. Recently, one Texas county decided to crack down on parents who haven't been paying their court-ordered child support, and the efforts led to several arrests.

The operation involved law enforcement at both the state and local level, according to the Texas Attorney General. Thirteen different teams covered the entire county on a recent early morning. Officials hoped that the early hours would catch people before they left their home. With warrants in hand, they arrested 34 people for nonpayment of child support.

Why do couples divorce?

It is often impossible to tell what really happens in a marriage behind closed doors. Family and friends may be shocked when the perfect couple announces their intention to divorce. For some Texas couples, it may be difficult to put into words what went wrong. However, advisors to couples have learned that some common issues often lead to the breakup of a seemingly happy marriage.

Many couples can work through problems and come out stronger. Money issues, for example, may resolve as a couple grows and matures together. However, having different financial goals remains one of the top reasons for divorce. Infidelity is another issue that many spouses find impossible to come back from. When trust is broken, even an affair that was purely emotional can cause irreparable damage to a relationship.

Does deployment increase the chance of military divorce?

The men and women who serve the armed forces of this nation do so at great sacrifice. Their jobs often dictate time away from their families, which can be a source of stress. Many people here in Texas and across the country believe that the divorce rate for service members is on par with civilian divorce rates, but one prominent study challenges that notion. However, experts caution that the study may portray military divorce unfairly.

The research was conducted by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit that provides data for the armed forces. It looked at whether a deployment was more likely to cause a couple to get a divorce. The researchers expected to find that it would, but instead found the opposite. The data showed that couples with one spouse who experienced a deployment were actually less likely to get a divorce.

Man owes almost $150k in unpaid child support

When parents are not in a relationship with one another, it doesn't stop their shared children from having needs to be met. Many custodial parents rely on child support payments from their children's other parent in order to take care of the kids. When those payments aren't made, it can have devastating consequences regarding their care. Many local law enforcement groups here in Texas and elsewhere create operations to collect overdue child support. One such operation in another state located a man who owed over $145,000 in unpaid child support.

Officials say that earlier this year, a sheriff's office joined forces with its county Social Services agency in the hopes of collecting overdue child support payments. They issued orders for arrest for offenders that were put into a national database. The hope was that if an offender had any interaction with law enforcement, a record would indicate the unpaid child support.

Actor Charlie Sheen may owe $450K in child support

When two Texas parents are not in a relationship with one another, it doesn't mean that their children's needs go away. Typically, one parent pays the other child support, determined by several factors, including income and the standard of living to which the children were accustomed if their parents used to be married. If one or both of the parents had a high level of assets, then the resulting child support payments will reflect that fact. This is the situation between actors Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. Richards claims that Sheen owes her $450,000 in overdue child support.

The two actors were married for three years and divorced in 2006. They have two children together. Richards says that she did not have a prenuptial agreement with Sheen and could have asked for half of his assets, but didn't. She alleges that he has been spending the money he has on luxuries and to repay debt in lieu of making court-ordered child support payments.

Candidate for Sheriff accused of having unpaid child support

When parents have an agreement regarding payment of child support, most of them understand the importance of those payments. They know that their children need that money in order to have basic needs fulfilled and that missing even one payment can have a detrimental effect on their life. Even so, there are many parents who fail to make court-ordered child support payments. Right here in Texas, one county is dealing with reports that a candidate for the office of sheriff owes several thousand dollars in unpaid child support.

The man in question allegedly owes over $53,000 in overdue child support to his ex-wife. Local media obtained legal documents that revealed this story and spoke to the man about exactly what occurred. The reports state that, earlier this year, a judge determined the man should have and could have made the required payments on time. He was found guilty of contempt of court and eventually ordered under community supervision for 120 months. Since then, reports show that the man is now making his payments on time and even paying his overdue payments with interest.

Program encourages parents to pay overdue child support

Even when two parents are not in a relationship, their shared children still have needs. Typically, that means that one parent makes child support payments to the other, custodial, parent. Some Texas parents have difficulty making those payments for reasons that may be valid, such as a job loss. There are some parents who fail to make the necessary payments without any discernible reason, which can detrimentally affect a child's life. One state decided to take action by creating incentive for parents to make those payments and work with them so that their kids can get what they need.

The program is called "Back in the Driver's Seat." Many parents end up losing their driver's license due to missed child support payments. Officials wanted to see if they could work with those same parents to develop a payment plan and reinstate their licenses. A spokesperson for the Office of Child Support Enforcement said that 11,000 people in their state lost their licenses because of overdue child support. He said that parents who approach the office won't necessarily need to pay a lump sum of the unpaid amount, but could work out a payment schedule that works for all parties involved.

Singer Jennifer Hudson reaches agreement in child custody dispute

When parents decide not to have a romantic relationship with one another, determining child custody can be difficult. Some parents here in Texas are able to come to an agreement easily, while others may struggle for various reasons. Singer Jennifer Hudson recently made an agreement with her ex-fiance regarding custody of their 9-year-old son, after a two-year child custody dispute.

The former couple split in 2017 and Hudson filed a protective order against her former fiance, saying that he pushed her while she was holding the boy. She dropped the petition eventually, but it is unclear why, though her fiance, a former pro-wrestler denied pushing her. A police investigation did not find sufficient evidence of abuse or harassment. The two filed several different motions against one another over the course of their custody battle.

County cracking down on unpaid child support

When one parent is entitled to child support payments, not having those payments can make life very difficult. Children have needs and that money is meant to provide for them. Texas parents may be interested in the efforts of one out-of-state county that decided to go after parents with unpaid child support. County officials say that the task force was very successful, but that in the end, it's all about making sure children's needs are met.

The county sheriff's office worked with the local social services department to find a way to hold parents who haven't paid child support accountable. The task force originally formed over a month ago. In just one day, officers arrested 13 people and had 12 turn themselves in.

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.

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