In most situations, if you are the parent responsible for paying child support, that support payment will be docked from your paycheck, however often you are paid. A wage withholding order will be drafted detailing the specific amount and the frequency with which that amount will be delivered to your ex-spouse. The withheld wages are first sent to the State Disbursement Unit with the Texas Attorney General in San Antonio and then forwarded on to your ex-spouse.
A question that I will often receive from clients is the relationship between the Attorney General and parents who receive child support. On the outside looking in, it seems that the OAG almost represents the parent who is to receive child support since payments go through their office.
In actuality, the OAG is responsible for tracking child support payments on behalf of the State of Texas- not the primary conservator. If you fall behind in making payments, then the OAG has attorneys who can file family court lawsuits to address that issue.
However, the OAG does not represent either you or your ex-spouse directly. Their interests genuinely lie in ensuring child support is paid so that your child does not risk having to be put on public assistance for day-to-day living (like SNAP or food stamps) or health insurance (Medicaid).
Child support is typically paid until your child turns eighteen or graduates from high school- whichever of those events occurs later.
An important thing to note, however, is that if your child suffers from a mental or physical handicap of some sort that requires care from a parent beyond one of these events, then you may be ordered to pay support even as your child ages into adulthood.
Miscellaneous Issues in Texas Divorces
Over the past few days, we've discussed the major issues that will impact your divorce case. Whether you have children or not, and whether you own a significant amount of property or not, it is guaranteed that your case will contain elements of the information that we've gone over with you so far.
For the remainder of today's blog, we will delve into subject matter that may not be apparent in your case but could be something that arises as you and your attorney begin to review your particular facts and circumstances. At the very least, I think it's a pretty interesting subject matter.
Suing your spouse for something in addition to divorce
When you think of a divorce, you most likely wouldn't immediately consider that you are, in fact suing your spouse. A divorce is a lawsuit in and of itself, and you are engaging with them in a legal dispute. On top of your divorce, you may have another claim to address with your spouse that directly led to the breakdown of your marriage.
For instance, if your spouse engaged in behavior that defrauded you out of a property, then you may assert a specific cause of action stating this in your Petition for Divorce. This could be the case if your spouse takes a piece of your separate property without your permission, sells that property to another person, and then utilizes the profits for whatever purpose they choose.
Another time that you may have a separate cause of action to assert against your spouse is in the event of an assault. If they assaulted you or caused you some bodily harm, you may want to maintain this in your petition for divorce.
These instances are rare, but if it applies to you and your spouse, then be sure to inform your attorney of this early in your relationship. As I mentioned, it is not common for a petition to contain these sorts of allegations, and your attorney will not know to insert them unless you tell them to do so.
Is alienation of affection still a thing in Texas?
I've had more than one person come into our office for a free-of-charge consultation and ask whether or not they can file a lawsuit against their spouse's paramour. After all, this person caused the breakup of a marriage and family. Would you have a potential claim against this person?
The answer- at least in Texas- is no. The concept these past clients have referred to is known as alienation of affection. In prior years this cause of action allowed spouses to file suit against the spouse's paramour in conjunction with the divorce.
If it only seemed like your life was spiraling out of control into a Lifetime Original Movie-type situation, then filing suit against your spouse's paramour could complete that transition. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your perspective, this is no longer possible in Texas.
Communication is critical- talk with your attorney
If you have concerns about your divorce that you feel may be particular to your situation, then be sure to discuss those topics with your attorney directly.
Please do not assume that they will read your mind and follow through with whatever you want to see occur without you having first brought it up. Your attorney will thank you for having done so, and your case can benefit a great deal as well from opening up the lines of communication early and often.
Questions on divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today.
From Chambers County to Waller County and down to the coast, the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, represent southeast Texas families in family law matters. We only handle family law cases and do so with a significant amount of respect for our clients and their families. To learn more about our office and to have your questions answered, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today to set up a free-of-charge consultation.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The Standard Possession Order and Child Support- A Texas Divorce Overview Continued
- Defending against a Child Support Enforcement Case
- Defining a material and substantial change in a child support modification case
- How to correctly calculate child support in Texas
- Is Overtime Pay or Bonus Pay Considered for Texas Child Support?
- Child Support in Texas: What is the most you will have to pay, and what are the exceptions to that rule?
- The Dirty Trick of Quitting Your Job to Avoid Child Support During a Texas Divorce
- Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
- Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
- Can I Sue My Ex for Retroactive or Back Child Support in Texas?
- Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
- Texas Child Support Appeals
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.