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Houston, TX 77006
Author Archives: Mary E. Ramos
Records of family law proceedings are available online in many Texas counties. Divorces are usually a matter of public record and many Texas counties are working to make such records more easily accessible to the general population. The information available online varies by county, but generally case details such as the style of the case and the names of the parties are available. Many counties also provide information regarding court costs, hearing dates, lists of all pleadings, names of attorneys involved, and even images of some court documents, like original petitions for divorce or temporary orders signed by the judge. Continue reading
This area includes details about the work performed by one of our staff members. It includes the date the item was completed, initials for the resource completing the task, quantity in hours, rate and total cost for line item. Continue reading
Guideline Child Support Doesn’t Make Sense For My family. What Other Factors Does The Court Consider?
Texas has specific guidelines related to the amount of child support that should be paid each month. The guidelines consider the income of the obligor, or the person paying child support, and the amount of children to be supported. While the amount child support is ordered is based off of these guidelines in most cases, child support can be increased or decreased from the guideline amount depending on a series of factors listed in Texas Family Code §154.123. The Court must consider all relevant factors when deviating from child support. These factors include: Continue reading
My child lives with me, but the other parent hasn’t been providing any support for our child. Can I get back child support for all the time I’ve been supporting our child by myself?
Texas Courts may order what is known as ‘retroactive child support.’ This means that in addition to requiring a parent to pay child support going forward, a parent may be ordered to pay back child support for previous times when that parent was not helping to support the child. In order for a court to order retroactive child support, the court must first find that no previous order regarding child support was in place, or that the previous order in place was terminated prior to the time frame for which back child support is requested. If someone is ordered to pay child support and fails to do so, those missed payments are known as arrears, not retroactive child support, and a different process is in place for collecting back payments. Continue reading
In Texas, many cases are settled during mediation. A mediation agreement is a binding agreement signed by all parties and their attorneys that resolves all of the issues in case. Once an agreement is reached, the most difficult part of the case is over, but there are still several steps that need to be taken to finalize the agreement.
First, the mediator files the agreement with the court. In most cases, the agreement is filed within twenty-four hours. In many courts, especially in cases involving child custody, one party must “prove up” the mediated settlement agreement in front of the judge. Continue reading
You are now divorced! What next? First and foremost, after your divorce has been finalized, several steps remain to be completed. The list below will help you sort through the many outstanding issues that may need to be addressed shortly after entering your final orders. Post Divorce Checklist: 1. Ensure that all documents related to the division of property are filed with the Court, including a qualified domestic relations order or special warranty deed. Continue reading
Finalizing an adoption in Texas is one of the few joyous occasions in a family law courtroom.
Most of the family law judges in Harris County require a pretrial hearing prior to the final trial to ensure that all requirements have met and that the parents don’t show up the day of the adoption hearing only to be sent home disappointed. Once the pretrial hearing has been held and all necessary requirements have been completed, including a social study and background check of the adoptive parents, then all necessary parties will appear before the judge to finalize the adoption. Continue reading
If you desire to change your child’s last name, there are procedural steps that must be followed. In Texas a parent must petition a court to legally change a child’s name. This petition must include the present name and residence of the child, the reason the name change is requested, the full name requested for the child, whether the child is subject to continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court, and whether the child is subject to the registration requirements under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Continue reading
In Texas, income created during the marriage is considered community property. Community property must be shared with one’s spouse during a divorce. Gambling winnings gained during the marriage are considered community property even if the gambling was funded by one spouse’s separate property. In other words, even if a lottery ticket is purchased with one spouse’s separate money, the winnings must be shared with the other spouse. Additionally, interest payments received during the course of a marriage are also considered community property. Continue reading