Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have been married to my child’s father/mother in order to receive child support?

No. The Texas Attorney General or an attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining child support through a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship. Men claiming or claimed to be the father of the child may also need to file a Paternity Action.

What does it mean for my divorce case that Texas is a “community property” state?

In Texas, all property, including cash and investments, accumulated during the marriage is presumed to be “community property.” This means that both spouses have a claim to the property. It doesn’t mean that the property is split 50/50, but as a “just and right division” of the property.

I am concerned that my grandchild is not safe in the care of his mother. Can I file for custody?

Yes. However, Texas has a very high burden for anyone seeking custody of a child that is not the parent. You will have to show that the child's physical and emotional well being is at risk with the parent.

How much child support will I have to pay?

If your monthly net income is $8,500 or less and your children live in one household, the amount of child support is calculated as percentage of your monthly net resources, which is basically your "take home" pay after taxes. Welfare benefits, accounts receivable, and your spouse’s income are not included in net resources for child support. Health insurance or cash medical support must be subtracted to determine net resources for calculating child support.

I owned the home before we got married; now we want to refinance. Does the house remain as my separate property after the refinance?

Maybe. The documents need to contain specific language that the refinance is not intended to convey 50% of your separate property to your spouse. If it doesn't, your spouse now owns 50% of the home as her separate property! Be sure to have an attorney review the documents before signing. Most standard documents do not contain this type of language.

My boyfriend assaulted me and I have a Protective Order against him. Will he still be able to have his weekend visits with our kids?

Most likely, unless the Protective Order precludes or limits his possession of the children, most Judges permit abuser access to their children.

I have a custody case pending and was awarded a Protective Order against my boyfriend for me and my kids. Will the Judge allow my boyfriend visitation with our kids?

Probably. Most Judges will not completely deny an abuser access to their kids and may order his visits “supervised” by a third party or trustworthy relative.