Pasadena Texas Divorce Attorney and Family Law Attorney Cari Brownlee, 281-998-8880, answers the common question regarding whether or not you can visit your children if you are behind in child support.

There are some individuals that tell me they will never marry again and then there are those that ask me how soon they can remarry.  There is a 30 day remarriage prohibition. You must wait 30 days from the date the judge signs your Final Decree of Divorce to remarry. In rare cases, the judge may waive the 30-day remarriage prohibition for good cause shown.

I am frequently asked at what age can a child choose which parent he/she wants to live with.  There is clearly a misunderstanding about children choosing who they want to live with. In Texas, children do not get to choose who they want to live with.  Section 153.009 of the Texas Family Code does allow for children to have a voice on the subject. The law allows for a party to request for the judge to confer with a child. Once a request is made for a judge to confer with a child, the judge must talk with children 12 years of age and older and may talk with children under the age of 12. Therefore, the law allows for children to state their preference, it does not allow them to choose.  The interview is merely evidence  courts can use to make its decision.  The court’s decision is ultimately based on what is in the best interest of the children.

What is a QDRO?

August 24, 2010

QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. It is pronounced KWAH-droh. A QDRO is commonly used in a divorce to assign a portion of one spouse’s (participant spouse) qualified retirement benefits to the participant’s former spouse.

What does SAPCR stand for?

August 24, 2010

In Texas, SAPCR stands for a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.   It is the name for suits that involve almost any issue regarding a child. This includes conservator issues and child support. In a divorce with children, a SAPCR is combined with a suit for dissolution of marriage.

Courts can appoint an amicus attorney when custody of a child is an issue. An amicus attorney is an attorney appointed by the court to protect a child’s best interest.  An amicus attorney provides legal services to the court, not  to the child. 

Under Texas Family Code chapter 107 in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) courts can appoint an amicus attorney, attorney ad litem, guardian ad litem, dual-role attorney ad litem or a volunteer advocate.

You should not stop paying child support because your ex-spouse is not letting you exercise your court-ordered visitation. Child support and visitation are two separate issues. Refusal by a party to allow possession or access to a child does not justify failure to pay court-ordered child support. If you stop paying court-ordered child support, you could be held in contempt of court.

If you are not being allowed to exercise your court-ordered visitation rights, contact me, Cari Brownlee, at 281-998-8880.

You should not withhold visitation because your ex-spouse is not paying child support.  Visitation and child support are two separate issues.  Failure to pay child support by your ex-spouse does not justify you denying court-ordered visitation. If you deny visitation and disobey your court order regarding visitation, then you could be held in contempt of court.  

If you are not receiving the child support you are owed, contact me, Cari Brownlee, at 281-998-8880.

If there are minor children, many courts require parties attend parenting classes before granting a divorce.  If a parenting class is required by the court, then you will need to attend a parenting class approved by the court and submit the certificate of completion with the court before the divorce will be granted.

I tell my clients to dress as if they were going to church.  You should dress and act in a professional manner. If you are going to court on an uncontested divorce, you do not have to wear a suit, but you should dress neatly. Slacks and a collar shirt are acceptable.  Shorts,tank tops, sleeveless shirts and flip-flops are not appropriate courtroom attire.