Georgetown, TX Child Support Attorney
The divorce process can be a long, arduous, and often a very painful experience for everyone involved. This is especially true when the parties have a minor child or children. While no divorce is the same, if there is a child involved they all have one common thread—the child is usually the innocent party and should have the right to maintain as normal of a life after the separation of his or her parents as possible. To attain this goal, every state requires parents to support their children with both monetary and physical care. Traditionally, the duty of monetary support rested primarily on the father, while the duty of care was placed on the mother. Today, however, the duties of support and care rest on both parents.
Our team is referred to as “divorce lawyers”, but we prefer to call ourselves a “family law firm”, people who can help return freedom, peace, and predictability to deserving spouses and families. We long for a day when our services will no longer be in high demand; until that day, however, we can only give you our assurances that there is hope and your feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, and loss are only temporary. You owe it to yourself and your family to be fully prepared. These steps include finding a lawyer, developing a budget, filing and serving divorce papers, determining costs, taking deposition testimony, seeking custody of children, and dividing assets.
Why You Need an Attorney
A lawyer can examine the facts of your case and give you an informed and honest opinion about your chances of receiving a share of your marital assets, custody of your children, support payments (child support or alimony), and many other aspects of your divorce. For example, a lawyer may tell you that in your state, judges are unlikely to grant ownership of a house to a spouse who has already vacated the premises to move into an apartment with their new partner. However, a lawyer cannot look into your eyes and say, “You do not really want to get a divorce. You are still in love your spouse. Give her one more chance.” If that is what you want to hear, you should consult a marriage counselor or your best friend. If you want to know if you can expect a judge to divide your spouse’s stock assets and give you an equitable portion, talk to an attorney.
To put it simply, you really do need a lawyer. A good divorce attorney will give you honest advice, based on your best interests. Below is a list, by no means exhaustive, of five important qualities your lawyer should possess:
- They should be someone you can talk to candidly
- They should be someone who listens when you have something to say
- They should make you feel comfortable about the divorce process
- They should be willing to answer any questions you have
- They must be willing to discuss on your first visit the costs associated with your case, including fees for legal services and the costs of each procedure
The characteristics highlighted above focus on one basic principle: At the heart of every attorney-client relationship there must be complete disclosure of confidential and often embarrassing information. Complete disclosure will only occur if you feel comfortable with the person you choose to be your attorney. Only bad things can happen if your lawyer is misinformed or you misunderstand the consequences of an action.
What Child Support Means
Child support is a payment of money from one parent to another for the support of their children. Each state has its own specific guidelines for determining which parent will pay (usually the non-custodial parent) and how much they will be obligated to pay. In any divorce involving minor children, the parties will be required to disclose their financial status. The court, in turn, will determine how much each party will pay based on that and other information. The following is a list of several sources of revenue that most courts consider to be “income” for purposes of determining child support:
- Hourly wages and salaries (including tips and overtime)
- Alimony payments received
- Stock dividends
- Income from rental properties
- Social Security benefits
- Pension and retirement plan benefits, military and unemployment benefits, government subsidies, gifts and prizes, and trust disbursements
Generally, the parent with the child support obligation will pay on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. If one parent fails to pay, the other parent has a legally enforceable judgment against the non-paying parent that they can use to obtain a wage assessment (garnishment) or sometimes even have the non-paying parent put in jail for failure to pay. However, it is important to note that if one parent fails to pay support the other parent should not withhold visitation. Instead, you should seek court involvement or other collection measures. The non-paying parent can be put in jail for an indefinite period of time for his or her failure to pay child support, often until the full or partial amount is paid. However, if you choose to withhold visitation (called “self help”), then you may very well also be put in jail—not just your non-paying former spouse!
Call me today (512) 598-5012.