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McKinney TX Family Law Blog

Child support enforcement escalates case of former Texas man

A well-traveled man is facing charges related to unpaid support payments for his alleged child. The man, a former Texas resident, who has also resided in several other states, was arrested by federal officials after failing to pay his court-ordered payments. The child support enforcement case was escalated to the federal level since his child lives in another state. 

The mother and the child reside in Maine. The state Department of Health and Human Services had requested the aid of its sister department in order to retrieve money paid to the child through federally funded welfare programs. This kind of case is handled by the U.S. Attorney's office when the child and the non-custodial parent reside in separate states. It is also common for the funds recovered to go back to welfare programs that have supported the mother and child. 

Rapists have fewer routes to child custody in Texas

A person who has committed the grievous crime of rape is likely to pose a hazard to the well-being of any child born of that crime. In some states, however, rapists are able to get child custody for children they fathered while raping the mother. In Texas, some legislation does exist to protect children from being in the custody of rapists.

A recent new story of a man who was awarded joint custody of a child born of a woman he was convicted of raping has news media discussing the topic and examining the laws surrounding the issue. As of this year, seven states do not have any laws in place that would prevent rapists from claiming legal custody of their biological children. The Maryland legislature in particular has failed for the ninth time to pass any law to prevent that from happening in the state. 

Do genes influence family law needs?

In an unusual news piece, a research study claims that the tendency to break up may be genetic. A study completed by two universities claims to have found a genetic link in families, making individuals from divorced families more likely to use family law services later in their own lives. The recent revelations may be of possible interest to people considering divorce in Texas. 

The research investigated adopted individuals and found that they were more likely to exhibit the divorce patterns of their biological parents rather than their adoptive parents. Much of the prevalent wisdom about divorce claims that the tendency to divorce is a learned behavior. Since the child learned poor conflict management skills or lack of commitment from the parents, the child is more likely to internalize the behavior of the role model and repeat it in his or her own life. 

Study finds that daughters make divorce more likely

It is impossible to pinpoint just one factor that leads couples to separate. Social scientists research to find trends in divorce data in order to better understand the human experience. Families in Texas are in many ways similar to families across the United States and the rest of the world. A recent study has shown that parents of teenage daughters are more likely to divorce, if only slightly. 

Building on a history of research in the United States that has at times contradicted itself, scientists decided to take a look at families in the Netherlands, where the information available about families is more complete, and less likely to rely on memory or self-reporting to supply important data. The study found that the incidence of divorce is comparable whether the family had female or male children, up to the age of about 12. At puberty, homes with daughters experienced a greater number of breakups. 

Two options for marriage dissolution

When it comes to ending a marriage, a person does have options. Most of the time, individuals choose the usual divorce route, but for others, an annulment is what they need. Both types of marriage dissolution have their pros and cons, and certain circumstances that must be met before being finalized. Individuals in Texas may be interested to learn more about the similarities and differences between divorce and annulment. 

An annulment can seem like an old-fashioned concept, but that is not necessarily the case. An annulment is an option that makes it as if the marriage never existed. In the event of bigamy, insanity, force or fraud, a judge can choose to grant the couple an annulment. They will have to appear in court for it to be finalized, but they will not have to divide assets since after the annulment there will be no history of the partnership. 

Which child custody arrangement is best?

In life, there are many options. In child custody arrangements, there are many options as well. Physical, legal, sole and joint custody are ways to share the care and support of a child, and each type has its own special cases and variations. In the past, courts have leaned toward granting sole physical custody to mothers and saddling fathers with hefty child support payments. Parents in Texas may be thinking: is this the best way, or is another method of shared parenting actually better?

The best way to evaluate a hypothesis is through the scientific process. Recently, researchers in Sweden did just that when they collected data from thousands of families in order to study the psychology of children in various parental arrangements. The researchers looked at 3,369 children in nuclear families, 136 children in joint physical custody, 79 children who live mostly with a single parent and 72 children living solely with one parent. 

Does your occupation predict likelihood of divorce?

Experts have been attempting to demystify human behavior by analyzing data for many years. Most recently, a researcher has looked at divorce rates and how they relate to a person's chosen profession. Many people in Texas are familiar with the old stereotype that 50 percent of marriages end in breakups, but is this true, or is it just a myth? 

The researcher analyzed a U.S. Census Bureau study that includes data from over 500 occupations called the 5-Year American Community Survey. The survey was published in the year 2015. The researcher looked at data from people who had been married at least once and who were divorced. 

Texas child support enforcement pulls violator's registrations

If you don't pay, you don't drive. For almost a year the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has terminated the vehicle registrations of parents behind on their child support payments. The child support enforcement initiative has resulted in numerous registration denials and has apparently increased the amount of support paid to children in the state. 

The vehicle registration cancellation policy was enacted in Sept. 2016. Since then, OAG has denied registration for more than 14,500 parents. If an individual goes over six months without making a child support payment, then the OAG sends a formal letter, informing the person that the motor vehicle registration will be denied if corrective action is not taken. The communications director for the OAG has reported that the program has been successful. 

Marriage dissolution solutions

The biggest tasks in life can usually be easily managed when broken down into smaller parts. From building a house, to getting an education, or even divorce, a person does not have to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue. In a recent news article, one person shares her tips for approaching marriage dissolution in a strategic way. Individuals in Texas grappling with this issue may find her advice helpful. 

The first step she recommends is information gathering. Information about the types of divorce options available in one's state, information about attorneys and information about finances. When armed with these details, one may be better able to navigate future changes and will be able to answer any questions coming from a soon-to-be ex-spouse or that person's attorney. 

Divorce program for children can aid with anxieties

One state is now offering a program for children whose parents are breaking up. The divorce classes are designed to enable children to better cope with their questions about the dissolution of their parent's marriage. Perhaps states like Texas can see the results of the program and apply a similar tool within the state legal system. 

Many children are unfamiliar with divorce, and their only understanding of a courtroom is what they have seen on television. So when faced with the pending breakup of their parents, they have fears that they will be caught in a courtroom confrontation or be forced to testify about their parents. The education program in Utah pairs children with a judge so that they can ask questions, tour the courthouse and learn that the legal side of divorce does not have to be scary.