Thursday, September 26, 2013

What can Happen to a Person who has a Judgment against them for Unpaid Back Child Support?

Child support obligations are not to be taken lightly.  A person who owes child support and does not pay it can have all types of trouble.  Here is a summary of how the process works, and what can happen if the support goes unpaid and a suit for enforcement is filed, and is successful.

The Process:

  1. Child Support is ordered to be paid by a court.   
  2. The child support is not paid as ordered
  3. The parent/guardian and/or the Texas Attorney/General Child support division files suit for enforcement and gets a judgment for the past-due amounts

Then- what can happen if the person owing the support ("Obligee") does not pay:

  1. A judge can order that the Obligee be confined to jail for a certain amount of time.
  2. Contempt of court
  3. The obligee may not be able to renew his/her license issued by the state and may even lose it (driver's license, professional license, hunting & fishing license)
  4. The interest will compound and it can take many years to pay off.
  5. Negative effect on credit.
  6. Tax refunds confiscated
  7. Psychological and emotional effects on children and on self-image.

Do not take child support obligations lightly!  If you owe child support and are not able to pay the amount that you are ordered to pay, you may be able to get a reduction in the monthly amount you owe for future months.  Talk to a family law attorney about how to seek a reduction if you believe that you may be entitled to one.

Bottom line: this is one of those things in life that you cannot afford to ignore. If you are already involved in this process, a family law attorney may be able to help you work out payments and give you further advice about how to handle this legal process.   Kalish Law Texas - Family & Business Attorneys
The Woodlands Texas.   We are about to celebrate our 30th Anniversary! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why it is Important to Answer Discovery in your Case

Unhappy about Discovery requests in your case? Read on to see why it is important to take them seriously...

1. You can't just ignore it- 

You are required by Texas law and procedure to answer discovery when you are involved in an active legal case.  If you are involved in a business lawsuit or a contested divorce, you should be prepared to answer discovery requests in your case.

2. The common types of discovery requests you can expect and why they are important.

Interrogatories are the most common requests.  These are written questions about your case and things that are involved in your case. (If irrelevant questions are asked, your attorney will object to them).  Along with Interrogatories, you may be given Requests for Production,  in which you must produce documents and other things (for example, digital files or photographs).  Depositions  are another common type of discovery, but are not used in every case due to the time and expense involved.

These methods of discovery are important because they allow the sharing of information among the parties.  This information sharing helps the attorneys plan the case, allows each party to get information to which s/he is entitled and might not be voluntarily given, and helps conserve time in court.

3. What will happen if you just ignore the requests? 

You may lose your case! You may be given sanctions  by the court (for example, the judge may order you to pay some attorney fees to your opponent, may "strike" part of your pleadings, negatively affecting your case, or your case could be thrown out altogether.

4. How should you handle discovery requests? 

Read them completely as soon as your lawyer gives you a copy. Begin writing or typing your answers in a rough draft form as soon as possible. Start gathering any documents you need, and organize them into groups.   If you are unsure about what a question means, or whether you are required to answer it, discuss it with your attorney.  Don't hold back important information or neglect to share it with your attorney.   

 Kalish Law Office  Business & Family Law Attorneys in The Woodlands Texas. Since 1984

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Cases About Same-Sex Divorce

On November 5, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral argument about whether Texas can grant divorces for same-sex couples.  Since Texas law currently does not allow any action that "legitimizes" same-sex marriage, the Texas Attorney General argues that granting a same-sex divorce is an action that recognizes same-sex marriage that occurred in another state.

The two couples who are involved in the case were married in Massachusetts several years ago, have since split up, and have been unable to get a finalized divorce in Texas.

The recent IRS ruling recognizing same-sex marriages creates another problem- the couples are now considered "married" for purposes of income tax filing.

The attorney who is representing the couples has stated that they "just want to get on with their lives."

Since the laws involving same-sex marriages vary so widely from state to state and are in a condition of constant change, expect to see more "conflicts of law"  cases like this one.

In the meantime, same-sex couples are advised to know their rights and options in relation to family law, joint property ownership and estate planning and to seek a legal consult when needed.

Kalish Law Texas -  Since 1984 The Woodlands Texas

Interstate Adoption Ain't What it Used to Be... What NOT to do When Adopting Across State Lines

Most of us know personally, or have heard of, someone who was "adopted" informally in the old days.

This used to happen among family members or close friends quite frequently.  A long time ago, people might just agree among themselves for a child to be raised by other family members or close friends, with little or no court involvement.

Adoption from one state to another wasn't always as regulated as it is now.    Today, we have many different levels of adoption law.  There is international law, U.S. law, and state law.   There are inter-country agreements and interstate compacts.

One such agreement, The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children ("ICPC"), requires a specific process that must be followed before a child from one state can be taken to another state for the purpose of adoption. This law also applies when a child is sent to another state for foster care, and for enrollment in some residential facilities.

Failing to follow the proper procedure can result in a Class C Misdemeanor, and/or in an adoption being denied by the courts.

There are a few limited exceptions for placement by family members with other family members, and in these certain situations, the ICPC does not apply.  

If you are thinking of making a placement or accepting a placement of a child over state lines for the purpose of foster care or adoption, make sure that you understand and follow the law about interstate placements.   You are advised to consult with an adoption and family law attorney who can help you avoid problems.

Kalish Law Office - The Woodlands, Texas  Adoption and Family Law Attorneys