The Texas Supreme Court has not yet come to a decision about whether to allow same-sex divorce in the state. According to reports, it could take months for the court to reach a decision on the family law matter. The question arose when two same-sex couples sought divorces in Texas after being married in Massachusetts. Texas state policy does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Unmarried fathers in Texas and elsewhere often face obstacles in attempting to assert their parental rights. There are a few things that they should know that may help the process run a little easier.
Texas residents who have grown up in a home wracked by divorce are no strangers to the jargon of divorce and may be familiar with words like alimony, child support and custody. But the areas of alimony may be changing.
Divorce is new territory when it comes to filing taxes. There are many questions that need to be answered, including which spouse is claiming the kids as a deduction and whether or not spousal support is taxable. This subject might be of special interest to Texas readers because Texas is a community property state.
Couples in Texas may be surprised to learn that one disadvantage to women achieving higher earnings is that they may be ordered by a court to pay alimony to their former husbands if they divorce. This phenomenon is part of a larger trend that is known as the degenderization of marriage. As society does away with assumptions about the roles in society of men and women, it also rejects the traditional gender roles held within marriage.
At some point in their lives, almost half of adults in the United States have lived with a partner in a romantic relationship without being married. A 2012 study in revealed that one in 15 couples were in live-in relationships. The legal ramifications of not having a legal marriage are a growing part of family law.
Texas and many other states participate in Powerball lotteries, giant pools that pay off millions of dollars to a single winner. While winning a pot this large may be everyone's dream, those who owe unpaid child support may find that winning this kind of money brings attention from family law advocates and child support enforcement agencies. This is what happened to one New Jersey man who recently won the Powerball jackpot for more than $300 million.The $338 million jackpot, which will pay the winner $221 million in a lump sum payment, would seem to be every lottery player's dream come true. However, the man quickly discovered that New Jersey law enforcement agencies were paying attention when they announced that they intended to seek $29,000 in unpaid child support immediately. It remains to be seen if the man will be forced to pay out more of his winnings if the custodial parent decides to take action.
While most residents of Texas who file for divorce understand their finances are going to change as a result, many do not consider the impact that divorce will have on how they file their taxes. The choices individuals make regarding their divorce will often have long term effects, so people should be proactive about reducing their tax burden. In addition to changing the status they can file under, divorce will also impact what deductions people have access to, especially if they have children. Following a divorce, individuals are naturally no longer able to benefit from a married filing status. Some are still able to file as "Head of Household," which usually carries a lower tax rate, but only if they meet certain criteria. Deductions related to children are another huge change in the way that divorced individuals can file their taxes, and the tax deduction for each child generally goes to whomever the child spends the most time with.
A Texas jury awarded former NFL Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders custody of his two sons with estranged wife. The jury decided that Deion Sanders should have full child custody of his 13- and 11-year-old sons and joint custody of his 9-year-old daughter. Deion Sanders had received temporary custody of the children in May 2012 after he filed for divorce in September 2011. The jury vote was an 11-1 decision, and the jury also voted that the couple should share physical as well as legal custody of the couple's daughter. Each parent was trying to get full custody of all three children.
The Domestic Relations Office for El Paso county has formed a strategic partnership with Texas Attorney General Child Support Division. Implementation of Integrated Child Support Services, which will automate the resource-intensive manual system in place since 2000, is a primary goal for the DRO. Automation is expected to provide a number of benefits related to the county's family law services, including faster enforcement of withholding orders, automatic enforcement actions following 90 days of non-payment and additional resources for parents. The new system does not provide any additional services compared to the older model. Services remain the same, but one interested attorney believes they will be provided faster and more efficiently than in the past. The manual system of the past sometimes resulted in seriously delinquent accounts due to delays in both enforcement of court orders and processing of employment information. Adoption of the system brings El Paso into line with other major counties in Texas already using the service.