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Family Law Enforcement & Modifications Lawyer in Houston, TX

In the landscape of family law, few subjects are as crucial and often complex as enforcement and modification. These matters go beyond legal jargon and courtroom procedures – they concern families’ livelihoods, futures, and overall well-being. When you’re navigating these waters in Texas, you want a legal ally who can champion your interests with a comprehensive understanding of Texas law and a dedication to your needs.

The Farias Law Firm is your experienced partner in these matters. We believe in tailoring our approach to suit your unique circumstances. We approach enforcement issues by preparing to file a petition for enforcement, ensuring that your child’s and your needs are appropriately met. If a modification is needed, whether due to a change in income, living situation, or other significant life events, we provide guidance to navigate the often complex legal processes involved.

Our goal is to reach a resolution that best serves you and your children. We utilize negotiation and mediation as primary methods of resolving disputes, but if necessary, we stand prepared to take your case to court. We are dedicated to guiding you every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the final decision.

Navigating the intricacies of child and spousal support, enforcement, and modifications can be challenging. But, with The Farias Law Firm at your side, you won’t have to do it alone.

Call us today at 713-364-3942.

Understanding Child Support

Child support is a crucial aspect of maintaining your child’s well-being after a separation or divorce. As a custodial parent, you’re entitled to receive child support payments from the other parent, as determined by a court order. This child support agreement is created to ensure that your child’s needs are met, considering elements such as education, healthcare, and general living expenses.

Understanding Spousal Support

Spousal support, often referred to as alimony, is a financial provision awarded to one spouse during or after a divorce to mitigate any unfair economic impacts. In Texas, the court awards spousal support when one party can’t meet their basic needs or if specific circumstances, such as domestic violence or a disabled spouse or child, exist.

Eligibility for spousal support often considers various factors like the marriage’s duration, each spouse’s financial resources, earning abilities, and the custodial parent’s potential employment. The spouse seeking support should have made diligent efforts to earn sufficient income or to develop the necessary skills to provide for their needs during the separation and divorce proceedings.

Child support written on paper.

Understanding Spousal and Child Support Enforcement

Child and spousal support orders are legally enforceable, and failure to abide by them can lead to significant penalties. If the non-custodial parent or the spouse mandated to pay child support or spousal support fails to meet these obligations, enforcement of the order is necessary. With the help of their attorney, the aggrieved party can file a petition for enforcement.

The enforcement process involves proving to the court that the offending party intentionally violated the court order. Providing evidence such as payment records, emails, and text messages.

Once a pattern of non-compliance is shown, the court can enforce the child or spousal support order in several ways. The court may issue an income withholding order, directly deducting support payments from the wages of the defaulting parent or spouse. This ensures that the child or spousal support is paid in full and on time, directly from the income of the party obligated to make these payments.

In cases where the non-compliant party is self-employed or has irregular income, the court can take other measures. These might include placing liens on property, intercepting tax refunds, suspending licenses, or even imprisonment in severe cases of non-payment.

When dealing with such critical issues as child and spousal support, it’s important to remember that the purpose of these court orders is to ensure that the needs of the child and the custodial parent are met in a just and right manner. These orders are not designed to maintain the same standard of living as before the separation or divorce but rather to secure a stable environment for the child and the custodial parent.

Understanding Modifications

The court recognizes that circumstances can change, and there may be genuine reasons why a non-custodial parent or a spouse may be unable to meet their support obligations. In such circumstances, rather than ignoring court orders, filing a voluntary request for modification is vital. If the court finds that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances, it can modify the support order to reflect the current situation.

Remember, the child’s well-being and the custodial parent’s ability to meet their basic needs are of primary concern in these cases. If the existing court orders do not serve this purpose effectively, they can and should be modified. However, until such modifications are made, all parties must adhere to the existing court orders. Non-compliance can have serious legal consequences and can negatively impact the child’s well-being and the custodial parent’s ability to provide for them.

There may also be circumstances where the existing child support or spousal support order doesn’t serve the best interests of the child or the receiving party anymore. In such circumstances, a modification request can be made. Material and substantial change in the life of the child or either parent can be a valid reason for a court to review and potentially modify the existing support orders.

These changes may include loss of employment, a significant increase or decrease in income, a change in the child’s desire regarding which parent they wish to live with, or a change in the health condition of either the parent or the child. To modify an existing child support agreement or a spousal support order, you will have to file a modification request in court.

A parent and a child holding a piggy bank.

Modifying Child Support – The Three-Year Rule

Texas law allows for a review of child support orders every three years. According to this provision, a child support order can be modified if it’s been three years since the order was established or last modified, and the monthly amount of the child support order differs by either 20% or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to child support guidelines.

To seek a modification under the Three-Year Rule, the requesting party will need to file a modification request with the court. In this process, it’s crucial to provide all relevant information about the changes in circumstances that justify the request.

While the Three-Year Rule provides a standard timeframe for reviewing child support, remember that you don’t have to wait three years if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances that affects the child’s well-being or the ability of the custodial parent to meet the child’s needs.

Understanding Child Custody Modification and Enforcement in Texas

In Texas, parents have certain basic rights with respect to their children. These rights include:

1. The right to make decisions concerning the child’s upbringing, including decisions regarding education, healthcare, and religious training.

2. The right to access and possess the child, which means the right to spend time with the child and to have physical custody of the child.

3. The right to receive information from any other person who has access to information about the child, such as teachers, doctors, or counselors.

4. The right to consent to the child’s marriage, enlistment in the armed forces, and medical and psychiatric treatment.

5. The right to receive child support from the other parent, if applicable.

It is important to note that these rights can be limited or modified by court order if it is determined to be in the best interests of the child. Additionally, if the parents are not married, the father may need to establish paternity before he can exercise these rights.

Divorce decrees also outline the custody agreement between parents. Under joint custody in Texas, both custodial parents will have a primary role and will have periods of possession and access (visitation) with the child. If the other parent isn’t complying with the agreed-upon visitation schedule outlined in the divorce decree, you can again file a petition for enforcement.

As situations evolve, you may find a need to modify the custody agreement. However, the child’s well-being is always the primary consideration in court orders for custody.

A cild playing with money and toy houses.

Understanding Enforcement of Property Division

Divorce decrees, once finalized, become enforceable court orders. These decrees address several aspects, including the division of assets, custody agreement, and alimony agreement. Each party involved in the divorce must adhere strictly to the terms within the decree.

Division of assets is an integral part of a divorce decree, outlining who receives what property, assets, or financial accounts. If one party refuses to comply with the outlined division of assets, the other party may need to return to court to enforce the order. Evidence like written communication or financial records can be helpful in proving non-compliance.

Contact The Farias Law Firm in Houston Today

Navigating through enforcements and modifications can be daunting, and it’s crucial to understand that each case is unique. Whether it’s an issue related to child support payments, a change in an alimony agreement, or addressing your child’s desires, the ultimate goal is to ensure that their needs are met.

The Farias Law Firm is experienced in all facets of family law and can provide the necessary guidance and support you need during these challenging times. From ensuring court orders are followed to representing you during custody hearings, we’re dedicated to protecting your interests and your child’s well-being at every step of the process.

By understanding and carefully considering all aspects of your case, we aim to help you navigate through these changes with confidence and assurance.

Contact us now at 713-364-3942.