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How to Stop Wage Garnishment for Past Due Child Support

Arrears child support payments, like back tax payments, do not go away, no matter how dire your financial situation is. Also like tax payments, if you get too far behind on your child support payments, you will get into legal trouble. To prevent you from receiving legal sanctions, however, the child support office will take it upon themselves to garnish your wages and make the payments for you (much like what the IRS does for back taxes). If you have fallen behind on your child support payments and cannot afford the wage garnishments, reach out to a compassionate Dallas child support attorney for legal advice.

Request a Hearing

At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark & Associates, we have helped both struggling mothers and fathers put an end to wage garnishment when they cannot afford child support payments and when they are far from current on their support. However, in order for the courts to grant you a hearing, you must have a good reason for not making your support payments. One good reason might be that your child moved in with you a while ago and you have been the only parent providing for him or her.

Another legitimate reason for your failure to make support payments could be that you have experienced a significant change in financial circumstances. A significant change might be that you lost your job and had to take on a much lower paying one, or you have experienced substantial health issues that have hindered your ability to work. You must show proof of your change in circumstances, but if the judge agrees that you cannot feasibly make the current payments, he or she may reduce the amount.

Ask for Forgiveness

Finally, Texas offers an arrears forgiveness program for parents who are substantially behind on child support payments. In accordance with section 231.124 of the Texas Family Code, obligors who voluntarily enroll in the arrears forgiveness program will receive a matching credit for every dollar that they pay towards past due child support payments each month. However, in order to maintain enrollment, they must meet current support obligations on time each month. Court involvement is not required for this program.

Consult With a Knowledgeable Dallas Child Support Attorney

At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark & Associates, we understand that life happens, and that situations may arise that can set you back financially. You should not be punished for this. If you are behind on your child support payments, do not panic, and do not do nothing. Meet with a child support attorney who is familiar with Texas family law and who can help you put an end to wage garnishment so that you can get back to meeting your other financial obligations.

(image courtesy of Jackson Jost)

Right of First Refusal

The most influential people in most children’s lives are undoubtedly their parents. Children look up to their parents for everything and rely on them to give them the guidance they need to develop into emotionally stable and successful adults. For this reason, the family courts always strive to give equal amount of parenting time to divorced parents. However, while the concept of shared parenting may seem simple in practice, the truth is that it presents a lot of complications that non-divorced couples do not typically have to think about. Certain clauses in the shared parenting agreement can help negate some of those issues or, at the very least, advise them on how to handle them. One of those clauses is the Right of First Refusal clause.

What is Right of First Refusal?

Right of First Refusal is one of many clauses that ensures that each parent gets as much parenting time as possible. In terms of custody, Right of First Refusal basically means that one parent must offer the other parent the opportunity to look after the child in lieu of a babysitter or other family member. This clause applies to both last minute and planned events. For instance, if one parent plans a camping trip with his buddies three months in advance, he must first offer the other parent that time with the child, even if it is not her week or weekend. The same goes for a night out planned a day in advance; if the mom wants a last minute a girls’ night out, she must contact the father to see if he can watch the child while she is out with her friends.

The other parent is not required to take the child; if one refuses the offer, the parent with plans can simply turn to a friend, family, or babysitter for short term care. The clause is simply in place to ensure that each parent gets as much parenting time as possible with his or her child, and that the child is not spending time with a babysitter when he or she could be spending quality time with a parent.

Using Right of First Refusal Effectively

Though the Right of First Refusal clause was designed to help parents avoid conflict, like most things that have to do with custody, conflict is inevitable. When using Right of First Refusal, some parents try to rearrange parenting time. While this is fine if the other parent is in agreement, it can cause issues if he or she is not, and if a parent wants both the babysitting time and the regular parenting time. One thing to keep in mind when enacting the Right of First Refusal is that the other parent is doing you a favor, and if you do not want to relinquish time with your child, plan accordingly so that your camping trips and nights out fall on weekends when you do not have your child. Additionally, provide as much notice to the other parent as possible, as he or she may have plans too.

Hire the Help of a Dallas Custody Attorney to Implement a Right of First Refusal Clause

If the Right of First Refusal clause sounds like a clause you and your former spouse can benefit from, reach out the Dallas post divorce modifications and enforcement attorney to make the necessary changes to your parenting schedule. If the other parent is not on board with making the changes, our attorneys at the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark & Associates can negotiate with his or her lawyer, who can hopefully convince your ex that such a clause is in your, your child’s, and his or her best interest. To schedule a private consultation with a member of our family law firm today, call 469-906-2226.

(image courtesy of Cedric Brule)

Dividing Unusual Assets in a Dallas Divorce

In a typical divorce, couples will be forced to divide assets such as homes, bank accounts, cars, and other physical property. While it can be emotionally difficult to part with your hard-earned money or a favorite piece of furniture, it is not difficult for a judge to divvy up such material assets. What about the other things that you value from your marriage that do not necessarily have a monetary value, but an emotional one, such as family photographs, pets, and gifts and heirlooms? What becomes of them?

At Udeshi Clark and Associates, our Dallas divorce lawyers have helped many couples discover and divide their unusual assets in a way that makes the most sense for you and your former spouse.

Assets Commonly Overlooked in a Dallas Divorce

According to state law, all assets acquired during a marriage are subject to equitable distribution, meaning that property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. While the judge will be quick to look at bank statements and property holdings, he or she may overlook other less obvious but just as important assets. Those can include the following:

  • Pets: Unlike with children, there is no “custody” arrangement for pets in Texas, as they are considered property. This means that the dog, cat, horse, or what have you will be assessed and valued and given to a single individual as a part of the divorce settlement.
  • Gifts: Just because you bought a piece of jewelry for your spouse during marriage does not necessarily mean that it is yours after divorce. Whether you want to keep gifts given to you or gifts given, you and your spouse should decide prior to stepping in front of a judge.
  • Family Photographs: While it is easy to reprint or copy family photos today, it can become costly, especially for larger prints. When drafting your settlement, it is worth considering the value of those photos.
  • Collections: Whether your spouse is into model airplanes or collecting rocks, he or she may have spent a significant amount of time and money growing those collections. Be sure the have both yours and your spouse’s collections assessed prior to getting a divorce so that you know what everything is worth—after all, those rocks could be a gold mine!
  • Patents: Did you and your spouse dream up something great while together? If so, make sure that both you names are on the patent, or have the idea assessed for fair market value if you would rather take the money instead of the risk.
  • Frequent Flyer Miles: You and your spouse may have done a lot of traveling in your married days, in which case, you would have a lot of frequent flyer miles accumulated. If so, make sure that you do not lose out on those miles, as they can be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Consult With a Dallas Divorce Lawyer

Once the judge hands down the final divorce settlement, there is not much that you can do to change it. To avoid losing out on some valuable assets, be sure to assess all of your property prior to going before a judge. At Udeshi Clark and Associates, our Dallas divorce lawyers will help you identify all of your property—both tangible and intangible—to ensure that you do not lose out on assets that are rightfully yours. Call our family law firm at 469-906-2266 to schedule a private consultation today.

(image courtesy of Erik Stine)