Main Menu Practice Areas
Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
888-268-7997 / 214-385-4562

McKinney TX Family Law Blog

Violating child custody order is criminal offense

Though it may appear to many Texas parents that violating a custody order would be considered a civil matter, this is not the case. Unlike other areas of family law, disobeying a child custody order is a criminal offense. When a person commits a crime, victims may want to contact the police for help, but many parents now complain that police are hesitant to enforce child custody orders. 

Violating a child custody order in Texas is a felony, and if found guilty, the penalty can be two years in jail. A recent study shows that law enforcement may not be doing a good job making sure violators are properly charged. Some parents state that another parent is purposely keeping a child from them, and police are not helping them enforce the order. 

Rock star's divorce grows inflammatory

When Texas couples decide they are ready to end their marriages, they will need to make themselves familiar with the state's legal process regarding the dissolution of marriage. Divorce can be a confusing endeavor, especially if the circumstances surrounding a split are less than amicable between the opposing spouses. Like each marriage, each divorce is different, and highly publicized celebrity divorces are no exception. 

Known the world over for his part in the band Guns N Roses, guitarist Slash finds himself in the midst of a battle over finances. He filed for divorce from his wife in 2014. During the initial proceedings, he revealed that he was unsure they were even legally married because his estranged wife may have not ever actually gotten a divorce from her first husband. 

New child support laws in effect

Texas parents need to be aware that, though the state modified the way child support is calculated a few years ago, the new laws are finally in effect as of Sept. 1, 2018. Representatives for the state say that it took a while to update the computer system used to process payments. Nothing should change regarding how parents make their child support payments, but they may now be responsible for paying a higher amount. 

Parents paying child support are now required to pay an additional amount to cover dental insurance for their children. Most parents are already required to pay for medical insurance. People who would like to add dental coverage to their child support payments are asked to contact the District Attorney's Office. 

Poor parenting choices affect child custody

Texas parents would likely agree that every child is different, and it is often difficult to decide what may be age appropriate. By the time a child reaches middle school, he or she may seem very self-sufficient and responsible. One local couple recently learned that, even if parents feel their child will be fine if left unattended for a while, a decision like that can directly affect child custody

One Texas couple is in hot water after it was reported that they had left their 11-year-old child home alone overnight. The pair was attending a concert and felt that their daughter was capable of staying by herself. When a great-aunt spoke to the child on the phone and discovered she was unattended, she became concerned and contacted authorities. 

Celebrity urges other fathers to pay child support through court

Many Texas parents are probably familiar with the basic procedure of paying and collecting child support. Recently, rapper Scarface publicly advised fellow fathers to be certain they pay their child support through the courts. Scarface was formally accused of failing to pay child support for a second time, and he will need to appear in court later this month to address the charges. 

The popular rapper served a jail sentence years ago after being found guilty of not paying child support, and he was said to be several thousand dollars in arrears on his court-ordered payments. Now that he again stands accused, he is speaking out. He urged other fathers to make sure they make their payments directly to the court system. 

Mother charged with interference of child custody

Texas parents would probably say that they do their best to keep their children safe and happy as they grow up. Sometimes, there are questions raised as to whether or not a parent is providing proper care. In these cases, it falls on Child Protective Services to evaluate the situation and determine whether or not a child will remain in the home. If it feels the need to take action, child custody may be affected. 

Recently, the case of a Texas girl made headlines when she went missing. Child Protective Services was called to investigate the household where the child lived but was unable to make a determination because the child was not there. Authorities suspect that the child's mother gave her to an unknown person in an attempt to hide her from Child Protective Services. 

Mother reports crime against her children, loses visitation time

Texas parents may be familiar with the sorts of issues that can arise when a custody order is disputed. Many parents may fear that if a tragedy occurs on their watch, they may lose visitation time with the children. One mother's fight for justice has rendered her nearly helpless. 

The woman has visitation with her children, and they live primarily with their father, the woman's ex-husband, in Texas. While the children were spending time at their mother's house, they were the victims of a crime at the hands of a teenage babysitter. The children told their mother that the sitter had done horrible, inappropriate things to them. 

Couple considers divorce for unique reason

Most Texas couples would probably never consider ending their marriage if both spouses are happy in the relationship. When most people consider divorce, it is usually due to a serious issue on which neither spouse can agree. While this may be the norm, it is not always the case. 

One Texas couple finds themselves considering divorce for a very unique reason. They are happily married and very much in love, but they have a daughter with special medical needs. As a married couple, their income exceeds the requirements they would need to meet to qualify for financial assistance. If the parents were to end their marriage, the mother would qualify and the child could receive benefits and assistance from the state. The couple fears that, if they remain married, the child will not have access to the level of care she needs to flourish because they cannot afford the medical care out of pocket.

Calculation of child support differs from state to state

For Texas parents who are considering filing for divorce, jurisdiction is an important matter. While many families will file in the state in which they currently reside, there are cases in which the jurisdiction can be selected. For those spouses, calculation of child support should be part of the decision-making process. 

Child support guidelines vary wildly from one state to another. That means that the laws in the state where a divorce is filed will guide the process from start to finish, including matters of child support. The bottom line could be significantly different in one state as compared to another. In fact, the variation could be nearly $10,000 per year, which is a significant amount of money to most families. 

Violating a child custody arrangement has serious consequences

Many parents are familiar with the types of stress that can come from dealing with custody issues. Once a child custody arrangement is put into place by the court, it is legally binding, and a parent cannot take it upon him or herself to alter the agreement simply because the parent does not agree with the terms. One father recently learned this the hard way when he attempted to take his daughter to Texas with him. 

The man is the noncustodial parent of a 2-year-old girl. He showed up at a grocery store where the child was shopping with her grandparents and physically took the child to his vehicle. In an attempt to prevent anyone following him, police say he intentionally caused damage to two other vehicles. Police apprehended him a short time after.