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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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McKinney TX Family Law Blog

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. 

Divorce planning must take loan debts into consideration

Texas residents are probably aware that as a marriage ends and divorce proceedings begin, both parties will have to begin the process of separating what used to be one household into two. While it may not be as difficult to determine who gets certain physical property, such as furniture, personal clothing items, or vehicles, splitting things like existing debt may be a bit more tricky. Laws put in place to standardize divorce planning vary from state to state. 

Texas is what is known as a community property state. In many states, a spouse is not held responsible for the personal debt of the other spouse, such as a student loan or credit card in one spouse's name only, even if the debt was incurred during the marriage. On the contrary, in community property states like Texas both parties are typically responsible for any debt incurred by one or both spouses during the period of the marriage. 

Dispute over child custody escalates quickly

Texas parents may be familiar with the stress that can come from child custody exchanges, especially when other family members become involved. It can be difficult to ensure child custody exchanges are made peacefully when parties do not follow the rules outlined in a court order. Though a custody order is put into place by a court to solidify things like visitation schedules, sometimes people let emotions get the best of them and a custody exchange gets out of hand. 

Recently, a routine custody exchange resulted in a feud between two grandmothers. The custody exchange was being made at a crowded local park, and the child in question was a 1-year-old girl. The child's mother has custody, while the father has a set visitation schedule. Witnesses say that a dispute began when the paternal grandmother pushed the maternal grandmother, and the situation quickly became life-threatening when the maternal grandmother displayed a handgun. The child's father was able to wrestle the weapon away from the woman, but not before a round was fired, striking the pavement.

Firefighter failed to finalize divorce, faces bigamy charges

For many Texas residents, their wedding day is likely remembered as one of the happiest days they will ever experience. Finding someone to share the rest of their lives with is an exciting and emotional journey. Though most couples make every effort to make sure both parties have disclosed any potential snags prior to tying the knot, unfortunately, sometimes pertinent information falls through the cracks, such as a divorce that has not been finalized, and the dishonesty or ignorance of one person can devastate the hopes and dreams of the other. 

Sadly, one Texas woman learned this the hard way after she married the man of her dreams. He was a local firefighter, and the two had recently wed and began to plan their future together. The woman's joy quickly turned to panic, however, when she began to receive contact from several other women that she did not know, claiming they were also married to her husband. One of the women went so far as to make the trek from Michigan to Texas, to provide physical proof that the man was legally her husband. 

Authorities offer reward for tips about child support fugitive

When Texas residents think of the term "fugitive," they may immediately imagine a person on the run, attempting to evade authorities after a violent crime or a robbery. While this is sometimes the case, police take other crimes just as seriously, including non-payment of child support. While most parents are likely aware that child support orders are legally binding, they may not understand that failure to make timely payments can result in the same sorts of serious penalties as other serious crimes. 

Police are offering a reward of $300.00 for a tip leading to the location of a Texas man who is wanted for failing to pay child support. Authorities treat non-payment of child support as a very serious crime because child support is meant to ensure that children have access to financial resources necessary to provide food, clothing, shelter and other needs. When a parent neglects to make timely payments, his or her child suffers, and it often places financial strain on the other parent.

Family that suffered tragedy now in midst of child custody case

As in most other state, Texas parents who divorce likely have concerns over the support of their children after the process. Generally, child custody arrangements are put into place by a court to outline how parents who do not live together share the joys and responsibilities of raising any children they share. While many of these situations are fairly straightforward, on some occasions, and due to unusual circumstances, a party that is not a biological parent may wish to seek custody of a child. 

One Texas family has suffered a year wrought with tragedy. First, they lost their son when he became the victim of a drunk driver. Just as they had begun to deal with the untimely loss, the couple lost their daughter, a young mother, when the father of her child admitted he had killed her. With the mother of the child deceased and the father incarcerated for the horrible crime, the grandparents sprung into action.

Unusual child custody case exposes human trafficking.

Most Texas families are likely aware that in situations where the parents chose to separate, or perhaps never lived together at all, a plan must be calculated to ensure the best interest of any children involved. Child custody arrangements are put into place by the court to dictate things like child support payments, physical custody, legal custody and visitation. Many times, these arrangements are easily made clear, and can be followed by all parties with little confusion. Other times, things may be a bit more complicated. 

Recently, a man serving in the military, stationed in South Korea, was overjoyed to find out that he and his wife would soon have a child. The couple had been married for some time, and the man naturally assumed the child was his. He was devastated to learn from his wife that their daughter had not survived past birth. Soon after, he was even more shocked to learn that the child, actually a boy, was alive and well, not biologically his, and for sale. 

Divorce can impact everyone differently

Texas residents are likely aware that the termination of a marriage can be an emotional journey as well as a legal one. Each divorce is different, and people may struggle to adapt to their new circumstances. Even in situations where a divorce is not contentious, people may find themselves overwhelmed with confusion. 

A recent study by a Texas psychologist attempts to explain how experiencing a divorce may affect men and women differently. She advises that some may feel a sense of deep loss or grief similar to what people feel when a loved one dies. Others may be excited, experiencing a feeling of new-found freedom. In many cases, one spouse may see divorce as a positive experience, and the other may harbor feelings of resentment and pain.

Missed alimony payments lead to discovery of fraud.

As the largest state in the nation, Texas is home to nearly 30 million residents. A beautiful backdrop of  scenic landscapes coupled with a unique culture makes Texas one of the most popular states in the nation to live, work and raise a family. While some people are able to maintain their 'American Dream,' not everyone is so fortunate. Sometimes, for myriad reasons, couples and families can find themselves in the midst of a divorce, and alimony is often a sticking point in the proceedings. 

Couples may choose to separate under many circumstances, and some divorces are amicable. Parties are able to utilize the legal process peacefully and go their separate ways. Unfortunately, even in these situations, disaster can strike, especially where alimony payments are concerned. Alimony is a court-ordered payment made from one spouse to the other as a means of support, during and following divorce proceedings.

Child custody battle crosses international borders

Texas is known the world over as a state steeped in history, unique culture and natural beauty. Residents are often proud to call themselves Texans, and each year, visitors travel from all corners of the globe just to get a taste of what the Lone Star State has to offer. Despite all there is to celebrate, Texans are not immune from the types of troubles that plague the rest of the nation. One such issue remains child custody battles. 

Whenever there are children involved, it is often difficult for parents to determine the best interest of the child. Sometimes, especially when parents who live separately find themselves at odds, entire families can become embroiled in a child custody battle. On some occasions, even if there is a court order in place, one or both parental parties decide to take matters into their own hands.