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What Matters at the End: Kids and Property in Texas Family Law

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An introduction into Divorce and Custody cases in Harris County Texas. Includes how to get help from a family law attorney when you need one.

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What Matters at the End: Kids and Property in Texas Family Law

  1. 1. WHAT MATTERS AT THE END: KIDS AND PROPERTY
  2. 2. Property Division in Divorce What do we care about? Property Division Formula (More or Less): (Community Property - Reimbursement) x Fault = Division of the Estate
  3. 3. What is Community Property? Property that is not separate property, acquired by either spouse during the marriage
  4. 4. Claims for Reimbursement In All Fairness
  5. 5. “We all have faults, mine is being wicked. - James Thurber
  6. 6. Division of Property “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.” - James Joyce Or maybe not...
  7. 7. WHO GETS THE KIDS? how to make sure it’s you
  8. 8. 1. The desires of the child, 2. The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future, 3. The emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future, 4. The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody, 5. The programs available to assist those individuals to promote the best interest of the child, THE COURT CAN CONSIDER 6. The plans for the child by these individuals, 7. The stability of the home, 8. Acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent- child relationship is not a proper one, and 9. Any excuse for a parent’s acts or omissions
  9. 9. TOOLS THE COURT CAN USE CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATION A third party who looks at the conditions of any person seeking managing conservatorship and makes a recommendation to the court on the best interest of the child AMICUS ATTORNEY A neutral Attorney that the court appoints to represents the interest of the child EXPERTS WITNESSES Usually a third party “expert” that one of the parties hires to give an opinion about a specific subject. (Doctors, Psychologist, Counselors, etc)
  10. 10. WHAT TOOL SHOULD YOU USE? CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATION AMICUS ATTORNEY EXPERTS WITNESSES $ $$ $$$
  11. 11. Joint Managing Conservatorship Parent A Parent B
  12. 12. Sole Managing Conservatorship Parent BParent A
  13. 13. SHOULD YOU GET SOLE CUSTODY? Probably not…..
  14. 14. REASONS THE COURT CAN CONSIDER SOLE VS. JMC 1. How will shared parenting affect the kid’s physical, psychological, or emotional needs? 2. Can the parent put the kid’s needs over their own? 3. Can the parents encourage and accept a good relationship between the kid and the other parent? 4. Do both parents participated in child care? 5. How close the parents live to each other? 6. If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child's preference, and 7. Any other relevant factor.
  15. 15. WHEN DO I GET TO SEE MY KID?
  16. 16. STANDARD POSSESSION ORDER
  17. 17. What is the SPO? 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday throughout the year beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday Thursdays of each week during the regular school term beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m Figure out your specific order by going to: https://bit.ly/2rAqiNY
  18. 18. NOT PAYING IS NOT AN OPTION ○ Child support is an obligation you have to help support your kid ○ Normally uses the child support guidelines ● 20% for one kid ● 25% for two kids ○ Determined by your net income ● Total income - (SS, Taxes, Medical Support for kids) Net Income
  19. 19. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT ○ Cash medical ● Payments you make if the kids are on medicare or CHIP ○ Medical Insurance ○ 50/50 Split of anything not covered by insurance ● I.e. co-payments ○ Dental Insurance ● As of September 1, 2018
  20. 20. Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship Petition Asks the Court to solve a custody problem Temp Order Court issues temporary rules for the case Discovery Figure out the facts of the case Mediation Attempt to reach an agreement Trial Tell your story to the Judge / jury
  21. 21. 62% Percent of people who handle family law cases without an attorney “I don’t need any” Most common reason why people don’t seek help 63,534 New family law cases in 2017
  22. 22. WHERE TO GET HELP Free Easy Ipsum dolor amet dolor ● Texaslawhelp.org ● Harris County Law Library ● HVL Self Help Clinics 1 Self Help Forms ● Lone Star Legal Aid ● Houston Volunteer Lawyers ● UHLC Legal Clinics 2 Legal Aid Providers ● Access Justice Houston ● Some private bar attorneys3 Low Bono and Unbundled Services ● Houston Lawyer Referral Service4 Private Bar Attorneys
  23. 23. THANKS! Any questions? You can find us at: https://Accessjusticehouston.org Mdunham@accessjusticehouston.org Devans@accessjusticehouston.org Find the presentation at https://bit.ly/2rDmomL

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