When you're going through a divorce, insurance may not be uppermost in your mind. However, it's important to ensure that you are still protected after you and your spouse go your separate ways.
The child support system in our country dates back to the 1970s. However, experts contend, it does not reflect today's families or economy. Most of the couples were divorced and had child custody agreements with designated parental responsibilities. Often, just as when they were married, divorced fathers were the wage-earners and the mothers were the caretakers.
Matthew Knowles, the father of Beyonce, has reportedly been fathering a new generation of potential music stars. Knowles, who is already paying support for a young child he fathered in 2010, is now facing a paternity suit in Houston over another child born to a different woman.
Unless you have no child custody or spousal/child support agreements as part of your divorce and you and your spouse divide up your things and go your separate ways, you will likely need some additional legal assistance down the road regarding the terms of your divorce. Our firm can help clients enforce those terms as well as modify them if necessary.
Many people in Texas who marry a person who already has children want to adopt those children at some point. This can be particularly beneficial for the children's sense of a security if their biological father has little or no role in their lives. If the stepparent has taken on the role of mother or father, adoption can further solidify the family.
Under Texas law, a child's biological father is not necessarily his or her legal father. When an unmarried couple has a child, the man is not considered the legal father unless the couple completes an Acknowledgement of Paternity.
Many of our readers here in Texas have no doubt heard the story of the man who was sentenced to six months behind bars for failing to pay child support simply due to a clerical error. As has been widely reported, he not only paid the overdue support once he learned what had happened, but paid additional money. According to a June 23 report by KTRK-TV, the Houston man paid $1,000 beyond what he owed for the support of his 12-year-old son.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is in the running to succeed Gov. Perry when his term is over, is working to overhaul our state's child support system. Last year, Texas collected $3.6 billion in child support payments -- more than any other state. Abbott boasted that under his tenure, which began in 2003, Texas has developed the "most efficient and effective child support system in the country."
Child support is a legal obligation for those ordered to pay it. When people don't make child support payments in full and on time, children and those caring for them can suffer greatly. Thanks to one sheriff's office and the state attorney general, 16 people recently learned that Texas takes child support seriously.
Around two weeks ago, football fans shared the happy news that former National Football League star player Terrell Owens, who previously had experienced substantial financial difficulty, had gotten married for the first time to a former postal worker from Texas. But shortly thereafter, they were shocked to learn that the 33-year-old woman had already decided that she had enough and wanted out. She's seeking a divorce. The wedding had been a secret ceremony, known only after the fact.