Divorce in Texas – taking care of the kids.
Divorce is never easy. It is an admission on one or both spouse’s parts that they did not manage to sustain a marital relationship. Often there is a lot of bitterness with one or both parties invoking blame and retribution on the other. This is particularly exacerbated where there are children involved. It is important for one’s interests to be represented by a skilled attorney well versed in Texas family law in divorce cases where there are minor children.
The whole area of family law to do with Child support, custody, visitation rights is a major area of practice for Dallas Family Law Attorneys.
In Texas “conservatorship” is the name given to define what rights and duties the parents have after the finalization of divorce. Despite what bitterness there may exist between the spouses the interests of the children are actually paramount. Thus in the vast majority of divorce settlements there will be parental rights and duties awarded to both parties. This is known as “Joint managing conservatorship”.
The actual residence of the children is also usually awarded to one parent and usually the mother. Nevertheless the other spouse will still have visiting rights and the right to be regarded as the parent. It is only in cases where the one parent is shown to be irresponsible or impaired as a parent, such as being an abuser of alcohol, drugs or being physically violent that this is overturned.
This visitation and parenting is an area of great potential conflict. Bitterness and anger plus fear and insecurity are some of the emotions that have to be dealt with. Nevertheless it is in the children’s interest that these matters be agreed and adhered to as amicably and as fairly as possible. Family Law attorneys will all deal with issues such as this often. It is strongly advisable that their counsel be followed to help the children cope with the trauma of their parents separation.
Conservatorship is but one aspect of family law, the next of course is the financial support. It should be emphasized that support may equally be sought for a child born out of wedlock. There are many cases of mothers pursuing, and winning child support from fathers of children resulting from extra marital encounters. In these cases paternity must be shown in Texas law.
There is a set “Tariff” or rate for child support laid down in Texas law. If the party has children from one marriage that has ended child support will be determined as a percentage of their “Net resources” in other words everything they might have which has value as an income. 20% for 1 child up to 40% for 5 or more. If there are children from other relationships the calculation is more difficult.
Child support ends when the child reaches the end of secondary education or the 18th birthday whichever is the latter. In all matter of child support knowledge of both parents rights and the amount due for the care and upbringing of the children is crucial. For this reason it is advisable that a firm of Family Law attorneys be appointed to represent the client and look after their interests.