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by | Apr 20, 2022

Christina Jimenez, Josh Floyd and James Pailin from The Jimenez Law Firm answer Family Law Questions. Questions from our viewers this week included Child Support Questions, Parent Alienation, and other Family Law Topics! Join us every Monday at 7 am on Facebook Live!

To schedule a consultation with a lawyer at our Flower Mound, Lewisville or Odessa offices call us at (214) 513-0125 or 432-335-9000.

The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C., provides representation through legal advice and experienced courtroom litigation in a wide range of criminal defense practice areas, including:

-Family Law
-Child Custody
-Grandparents Rights
-Child Visitation
-Modifications
-Divorce
-Pre- Nups
-DUI/DWI
-Drug crimes
-Crimes against property
-Crimes against individuals
-Theft crimes
-Fraud including fraud against the government
-Probation violation
-Parole revocation
-Property damage
-Public intoxication

The Jimenez Law Firm, P.C. specializes in Family Law and Criminal Defense. Our offices are located in Flower Mound, Lewisville, and Odessa, Texas and we provide representation to residents throughout North Texas and West Texas who are struggling through a wide range of legal dilemmas. Many legal situations can be resolved through negotiation and mediation. When this communication breaks down, however, it is important to have an attorney on your side who has courtroom experience. We are not only skilled negotiators but accomplished trial litigators.

In fact, we prepare for every case as if it would be decided in court. Clients appreciate our attention to detail and our thorough preparation. We represent residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in communities such as Lewisville, Denton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Westlake, Southlake, Frisco, Plano, Carrollton, Farmer’s Branch, Irving, Grapevine, Highland Village, Richardson and in residents of West Texas such as Odessa, Midland, Monahans, Andrews, Crane and Fort Stockton.

At 00:05 Let me do the quick introduction. My name is Christina Jimenez.

At 00:11 Introduce yourself, gentlemen. I’m Josh Floyd. I’m James Palin. We are all attorneys over at the Jimenez Law Firm. We are a Texas-based law firm. We do family law and criminal defense. We have been doing this Facebook live now for a few weeks. Basically, what we do is we take the opportunity and the time to discuss different questions, fact patterns, that are relevant to different people. We always caution everyone at the beginning and at the middle and most of the time at the end as well that when we are going through these fact patterns that it’s not supposed to be legal advice. It is us, kind of just discussing these particular people’s situations and your situation could potentially be different.

At 01:04 It is so important that you kind of take this information with a grain of salt. You go out, you talk to your own attorney, you hire your own attorney, and let them know your specific situation so that they can help you. With that being said, this morning we do have James. James is a new attorney over at our firm and he’s going to be helping us out today. As always, we have Mr. Floyd.

At 01:32 Mr. Floyd, I’d like to discuss something with you. Can you identify this gentleman? Oh no. No, I do not recognize him. What were you thinking Mr. Floyd? I thought it would be funny and I was correct.

At 01:56 Do you want to share the background story to this gentleman? Not this past week, but the week before, in the 446 docket, I had logged on to the wrong hearing link.

At 02:15 So, the judge is texting me. “We’re waiting on you,” and so I realized what I did. I’ll go over to the correct link, and since I was late, she and Mr. Norris had been talking about my punishment for contempt, for being late and one of the things that they threw out was me having to dress as a clown for docket call or that day.

At 02:38 Then they decided that wouldn’t be beneficial because it wouldn’t bother me. So, I thought it’d be fun to dress as a clown for court, and I did. And was it indeed fun? It was a blast. It was not fun for me. James, in case you were curious because all I get, about five minutes before the docket call, was a text that “I cannot be terminated for anything that happens within the next hour.” My goodness. And he always does those goofy backgrounds and stuff, and so I thought “he has a background in docket call that I’m not going to approve of.” I immediately told him, “Take off your freaking background and stop whatever it is that you’re doing.” Then I hear crickets and then like within a minute the video pops up.

At 03:38 I see this fool. I remember that docket call like it was yesterday. Both James and I had our heads down. You could have at least warned us so we could be cool at least. Here’s the thing and it’s like a love-hate thing that I have with Floyd. He goes all-in with everything and so it’s wonderful when it comes to cases and clients and all of that stuff.

At 04:16 But when it comes to this, I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand why if we are doing zoom, we have shoes on. I just don’t get it. I don’t know. I tell my kids, look we don’t half-ass anything the whole ass-it or we don’t do it and well you went all in so excellent work, I guess.

At 04:45 I respect the principle. James called me afterwards, like dude you could have at least given me a heads up. What am I going to do right? James, you wouldn’t have called me and said Christina you need to know something. No? I might have sent you a text like “hey, look, you know I hope you’re having a great morning.” Thank you, James, I appreciate that. I would think about it, and I would just get embarrassed, so secondhand embarrassment. With that being said, let’s start going through some of these questions. Floyd, why don’t you go first? I should have worn the clown thing today, actually, that would have been all right. No, it’s done, it’s been done.

At 05:37 You can’t do it again. James called me Friday and was like “hey, so is there any dressing up I need to be prepared for on Monday?” Another polo or a button-up or whatever? He’s like no, I mean like dressing up. It’s really perfect. You’re smart James. I didn’t even think to ask him. You know now I have to prepare myself. Question number one…

At 06:04 When we divorce can the house stay in both of our names if it’s not paid off? We just moved into a house and have a few years before it’s paid off. Refinancing it may not be an option for either of us. This was supposed to be a short-term home anyway because this is where we need to be for our daughter’s heart surgeon, and we plan to sell it after paying it off. Would it be possible to keep the house in both names, me and the kids living in it, and have us split the house payment so we can sell and split that later?

At 06:38 All things are possible. If there’s an agreement, then there’s no problem. Generally, courts won’t get in the middle of an agreement that two parties have. If both of you agree to do it that way, that’s fine. However, if there’s not an agreement generally speaking the judge will give you 90, 120, 180 days for one party to refinance and remove the other party’s name from it. Of course, refinancing it for an amount sufficient to give the other party their equity or however the property divided up.

At 07:17 So it is possible, but only by agreement. I think that if it goes contested not very likely and I guess it doesn’t say how much more they have on it.

At 07:36 She said a few years just paid off, so I don’t think the courts going to let you live there for a few years with it being in both parties’ names without refinancing unless that’s by agreement. I mean they’re going to split the house payment so that’s cool and they can sell and split later.

At 07:54 I would want to know some additional issues like who’s going to pay property taxes and insurance. If they sell, a mortgage would still be included. That’s good. The only thing that I guess would kind of concern me is for the husband because if he’s moving out and he has this big note on his credit then if he decides if he wants to go and purchase a new home, depending on what his income is, he may not be able to do that because of the set to income ratio.

At 08:28 As long as he understands that, and he wants to make that sacrifice and I think that is perfectly cool and it’s good because clearly, these two are thinking about their children and not themselves. I think that is always what is best, so it doesn’t happen often enough for sure.

At 08:52 Next one, how can I get the back money child support owed me for taking out money from my SSI when I stopped getting support two years ago? My son’s father was paying me child support. They would take $400 out of my SSI because child support payments were for my son. I guess my son hasn’t been in school for two years, went straight to work, yet they’re still taking money out of my SSI. How can I get the money they have taken and get them to stop?

At 09:24 I don’t understand this question. I don’t understand why they would be taking money out of her SSI if the father was paying her support. Next question, I don’t get it either.

At 09:49 You could just answer generally. If there was an overpayment, so we can make questions. We’re going to go down this path like normal. We’re not making our own question. We are not answering the unclear portion of the question. Straight to how can I get my money back if I’ve overpaid?

At 10:08 I answer that question. I do know the answer to that question. If you’ve overpaid child support and this, unfortunately, happens a lot, I just actually had a hearing on this last week. If you overpay support, you have to file a petition to recover overpayment of support payments something like that, I can’t remember the correct full name but something like that. Basically, what you do is you go in and you allege that you have paid more child support than what you were supposed to because the child emancipated, the child graduated, passed away, turned 18, whatever it is that would trigger this, or came to live with you.

At 10:47 There are all sorts of different reasons why you could potentially try to get this thing filed. From that point forward you file a motion with the court, set it for a hearing. You allege you know how much you’ve overpaid or do the calculation and if the court finds that in fact, you did overpay, they will order the other parent to repay you.

At 11:12 In this particular case, you’re not going to recover anything from SSI. It’s all going to have to come from the parent that was receiving those payments. Typically, when that happens, they can set them up on a wage withholding so that is automatically taken out of their check and then paid to you.

At 11:30 Do I still have to pay child support in Texas if my child dropped out of school and left home before he turned 18?

At 12:01 My son dropped out of school and left my ex-wife’s home and has been self-supported since February 2nd of 2020. I continue to pay her child support and paid it off early or as early as August 22nd, 2021. My ex-wife has asked to continue payments until January 1st, 2022. Do I have to pay this? A couple of issues here… Child support obligation is until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school whichever comes later. That’s the first thing. It sounds like your child has dropped out of school.

At 12:56 He’s more than likely is living with someone else, probably not living on his own at 17. Your obligation would still continue, perhaps not to the mom, but to whomever the family member is who the kid is living with.

At 13:15 On the other side, if the kid has been emancipated then their child disabilities have been removed and they are walking around like a grown person. In that sense, I think the situation is a little bit different.  Under the first scenario where it is moved in with someone else, you could indeed file a modification and see if you can get that kid back over to your place; put the kid back in school.

At 13:53 James, so he could follow that modification to try to get this kid back but the problem that I would be worried about is what if when he filed that, the adults that he was living with assuming that he’s living with an adult, decided to file some sort of modification on the father and the mother to say hey I’m now supporting this kid, I want child support to come to me. It wouldn’t have the effect of potentially canceling the support if he was trying to fight for custody, right? That would be a concern, but would that probably be best for the child?  Yes, it’s just something that he’s going to have to be kind of cognizant if he wants to take that risk. What was the other thing you were going to say?

At 15:00 If the kids have a petition for his emancipation, where he’s walking around like a grown person, then wouldn’t the child support obligations be done and finished? As far as the father is concerned it would be, we actually, what have we done, where we tried to do the emancipation or we did do an emancipation, I don’t remember much about it. But I remember it being difficult. There are so many different factors. The child actually has developed support and the child has to say this is why I believe that I should be emancipated.

At 15:47 I’m able to be an adult in this particular situation and so it’s not something that just naturally happens. There’s a process. I remember it being, I can’t remember exactly what we had to do, but it was kind of a convoluted process at that.

At 16:06 You typically don’t see emancipations that actually get processed. It’s more like the situation where the kid just takes off and nobody has any control over him.

At 16:20 You’re stuck paying child support. In theory what he could do, and probably what I would do if I represented him, is I would follow motion to modify.

At 16:43 Just serve the x y for the mother and basically if I would motion to modify my child’s obligation requesting that it be terminated because she no longer has possession of the child, right.

At 16:56 At that point in theory the mother can notify the other parent that this kid was residing with if he was residing with someone and then that person would then have to intervene if they wanted to mess with the child support. A lot of times when you have situations like this, the people that actually have the kid, they don’t even want to mess with that. They’re just trying to do a good deed and just help this kid and push through. In theory if dad filed that against mom, then mom told them, and they didn’t do anything. But mom didn’t do anything because she didn’t have the child or even if mom showed up to court and said Well, I don’t have the child but I still want my child support, I still think that there’s a higher probability that his child support would terminate at that point.

At 17:46 He has to file a motion. He has to go to court in order to get all that stuff done, otherwise, he’s still on the hook. I kind of like James’ point earlier where you fight for a primary right. I understand there’s a possibility of an intervention, but we all know the parental presumption right that it’s presumed to be in the best interest that the child lived with the parent. It doesn’t say how long the child has been living with this other person or how long dad has known about it. I think what James was saying I agree that his obligation continues right.

At 18:16 It’s just a question of two. Is it to mom anymore? Is it to this new person? If the child’s dropped out of school and dad comes in and says look, he’s not going to school, child’s living with some random friend at this point, I want primarily to get my child back in school.

At 18:34 I don’t think the interveners number one depending on how long they’ve been there. I think that would really increase dad’s probability of winning primary and terminating his support. The thing is both parents have an obligation to support.

At 18:54 Just because you’re receiving child support doesn’t mean you’re not spending money on the support of your child, actually, you probably spend more than the person that’s paying child support.

At 19:03 Either way, I think the obligation continues. It’s just to whom it’s being paid. But Floyd how many times have we had this conversation about making angry 17-year-olds come into your home?

At 19:22 I don’t have to live with him. In theory, it is a great idea but, in all practicality, if you, and we have to have these conversations with our clients quite a bit, right, where they’re so upset because their 14-year-old child or the 15-yearold child or 17-year-old child doesn’t want to see them or doesn’t want to come to their house. They want to enforce their visitation. They want to fight for primary. They want to have rights to their children.

At 20:03 Typically, my advice is to have you work on your relationship with your child before you even want to go there. I’m just telling you some of these kids are crazy. We’ve had it where they make false allegations against our clients of really bad things. It ends up putting our client and their other family members in very precarious situations and sometimes criminal situations.

At 20:37 My advice is always let’s get you guys into therapy, let’s get you guys to work through your issues. Then if you guys can work through your issues, then you can bring him into a safe environment. But trying to force a 17-year-old who’s dropped out of school to come back to your house because you don’t want to pay child support, I don’t know if that’s the best play, that tough love. Thank you, James. I guess it could happen.

At 21:19 I would not want to be in that home when it did. We had a question, what about child alienation from the other parent, so, touché Mr. Carpenter. Alienation is a really big topic in courts these days.

At 21:51 It is something that we use quite a bit that we discussed quite a bit and that we actually argue quite a bit. I will tell you that it is very complicated to prove alienation.

At 22:13 You really have to have some evidence to support that contention. Coming in with this idea of my 15-year-old just hates me and I don’t really know why, that’s not going to be enough for alienation. What you’re going to want is you’re going to want; I’ve attempted on numerous occasions to see my child when the mother is never showing up. I have text messages where I’ve told her that I want to have a relationship with my child.

At 22:39 She has told me to go to hell after everything you did to me. You’ll never see him again. You know, those types of conversations, those types of actions are what you’re going to want to do.

At 22:59 You have to somehow put your child’s feelings towards you on the other parent. It has to be their fault. That’s the alienation component of it. Without those sorts of things, how do you prove that it’s really the other parent’s fault and not just because you did something wrong to your child or your child just doesn’t feel comfortable with you.

At 23:18 That’s where I think the therapy component is so important. Number one, the therapy is going to help you to potentially heal that relationship with your child if you get a good therapist.

At 23:38 I’ve had some cases where I thought there’s no way in hell that this son is ever going to be great with his mother and this therapist worked and worked and worked and within about nine months, they were having visitation. They were back on good terms. The other trick to that was if mom had continued down this pattern of being nasty and ugly, then we would have been able to say well look this is not dad pinning the child against mom.

At 24:06 This is a mom just not working on her relationship with the child. It’s mom’s fault. That’s not dad’s fault. Through that process, the therapist also learned that the way that this child was feeling was not because of dad it was because of this hardship that he had with his mother.

At 24:26 Because the other side had been arguing alienation, we were able to get rid of that argument because the child was like listen, my dad supports my relationship. My dad talks kindly about my mom. She doesn’t say anything negative. But my mom says said this other stuff and done this stuff.

At 24:44 I just don’t like her. I don’t feel comfortable with her right now. So, alienation is the thing. That is definitely something that can be argued but we got to make sure that we have the evidence.

At 24:58 Floyd, James do y’all have anything else on alienation? Don’t do it parents, sound advice. It’s a terrible thing to do to the kids.

At 25:18 It’s difficult to prove as Christina said. It’s hard to prove but it is a terrible thing and if we’re able to prove it we generally have really good outcomes for our clients. It’s just got to be set up correctly to be able to establish it. You know counselors, things like that, the child over 12, let him go talk to the judge.

At 25:39 See what the other party’s been saying about them, about what mom’s been saying about dad or vice versa. Let them tell the judge that. If you can establish professional alienation, it’s huge. No judge likes it. It’s difficult. I had a case, actually, where I was representing the father and I didn’t step in until about two and a half years into their litigation. The mother had primary and at the time that we stepped in.

At 26:13 He only had supervised visitation because the mother had very competent counsel and that attorney on several different occasions had made really bad allegations against the father, the different drug use, abuse, things of that nature.

At 26:39 When this gentleman came to me, he had a final trial a couple of months later. I was like listen, he wanted primary custody and I’m like there’s no way. There’s no way that won’t be able to get this thing done for you and then he started showing me everything that he had. It was crazy because what this particular mom was doing was filing a protective order on Monday.

At 26:57 On Tuesday, she was saying if you want to come and have dinner with me and the kids then I’ll let you see the children for one hour but I want you to take me to dinner at this particular place.

At 27:10 We had several of these instances of you’re a danger, but I want to be with you. I love you and why won’t you come back to me type things.

At 27:24 What we were able to establish, and Floyd and I don’t know how many hours we worked on it but getting this timeline together to go through and show the judge here’s your proof of alienation here’s all the times that she was using these children as a pawn to try to get her husband back with her. After a two-day trial, the court that was like the first time that I had a judge actually says I do find that this mother is guilty of parental alienation. Our guy went from four hours on a Saturday and Sunday to having primary custody.

At 28:00 I can’t even tell you how many hours that we went through where we put the evidence together and then we’re like this isn’t painting the picture.

At 28:12 We had to go and put it back together. We did it like three or four times and at the end, the judge was not happy. Obviously, the mother wasn’t happy. Mom should have never done that in the first place.

At 28:24 Like you said James, just don’t do it. It’s not good for your kids. It’s not healthy for them at all. Sometimes there are dads that come in and most times dads this reason I’m saying that come in just frustrated with the process of mom keeping the child away and up to the point of wanting to terminate. I don’t get to see my child. I don’t want to deal with this stuff anymore.

At 28:50 After talking with them, it’s not that they don’t want a relationship with a child. It’s just mama’s making it way too difficult to do it.

At 29:00 I just tell them it’s going to take us some time. We’re going to have to set this up properly. If you want a relationship with your child, we’ll make sure you have it one way or the other.

At 29:09 Whether it’s by enforcements and whatever, where she’s going to spend a lot of time in jail. Don’t give up your rights just because things are difficult, and you don’t feel like you can have a relationship because you can.

At 29:19 The courts will give you that opportunity as long as you’re not with drugs and things like that. If a good parent really wants a relationship, they’ll get it no matter how difficult the other parent is.

At 29:28 Those cases just make me so mad. It makes me mad because, not mad, I guess that’s the wrong word, but it’s frustrating because a lot of times you know that it’s happening. We get to hear and see all this background stuff that sometimes isn’t admissible in court. That’s one of the things that I have all the time.

At 29:57 A parent will come to me and say well my son told me that his mom said that she was going to keep him away from me and do whatever she fits that I could never see him. That’s not admissible in court guys and a lot of times we get that frustration from clients as well.

At 30:16 Why can’t you use this? There’s this little book called the Texas rules of evidence that we have to make sure that we’re following when we’re in court.

At 30:29 You want to seek good counsel. You want to, you know, have them listen to your particular fact pattern. There’s a lot of times for every five cases that I say I think we have a shot at parental alienation.

At 30:40 There’s probably another 20 where I’ll say this just isn’t enough to prove that. It doesn’t mean we can’t help you because we can still get you set up with visitation and therapy and all that good stuff and hopefully eventually get to a good place for you and your kiddo.

At 30:59 Next question is that on me or you or James? I think it’s on me. How much is a legal separation and time frame of getting one? I’m currently married but separated living in Texas. I wanted to buy a home, just my name only. My husband and I have no kids, no pets nothing to fight over. I’m just not ready to get a divorce.  I think we’ve talked about this legal separation stuff before, that it doesn’t exist in Texas.

At 31:32 There is no legal separation. The closest thing that we have to a legal separation would be temporary orders during the dependency of a divorce case where it details who gets to use what property and kind of acknowledges you guys are living separate and apart. For your purposes being able to buy a home in your name, you would still be married. It would still be considered community property.

At 31:59 The only way that you can buy a home in only your name and for your husband to not have any right to it, is if you guys get divorced or if you do a partition exchange. That’s the right terminology, is your partition exchange. Aside from that, there is really no separation in Texas.

At 32:32 You’re either married or you’re divorced. If you’re married, community property. If it’s purchased during the marriage, even if it’s only in your name and if you’re divorced, obviously it’s yours. The temporary orders will put a Band-Aid on the situation.

At 32:47 If they’re trying to go through this process and you’re trying to just figure things out and go to counseling see how it is being away from one another, whatever it is, temporary orders will put a Band-Aid on it so that you don’t have one spouse running off and selling all the property or running up credit cards or doing anything crazy. Typically, in most courts, you can get a temporary order within, I don’t know, a couple of months. It’ll be important to have an order drafted if you guys are coming to an agreement.

At 33:27 The reason why it’s so important to go through that process is because you have some accountability. If you violate a temporary order of a person, violence, temporary order then they’re potentially subject to a contempt finding. That you can go to jail for up to six months um and/or pay a fine up to $500 and attorney’s fees. It sets up the rules and sets up some accountability in case somebody decides they’re going to break the rules. If you’re going to get a separation don’t just go your separate ways and just kind of, try to figure it out.

At 34:06 Try to get something in place. In this case, she wants to purchase the home solely in her name only, petition in exchange, yes absolutely. I do like that question. You know people willing to fight for their relationships and she sounds like she still got some fighting. That’s true James. You’re just a beacon of positivity this morning. You’re so young and new to this whole thing and recently married.

At 34:44 Love is in the air with James. I do I like it. She says she’s just not ready. Come on, okay so I guess I’ll take this one even though it’s kind of tricky.

At 35:06 My mother never made child support on me. I’m now 29. Is there anything I can do about it? My mother left my father and when I was three years. She was ordered to pay support. It was in the divorce decree. To my knowledge, she never paid a dime. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can do. My father recently passed away. I was wondering if there was a way to contact her or do anything about past child support.

At 35:32 It may seem selfish and petty but it’s something that my father was truly upset about. It bothered him until his last days. It’s more curiosity than anything else.

At 35:45 I live in Vermont, but I believe I found my mother’s most recent address. I believe she’s living in Irvine, Texas. The short answer is no there’s nothing you can do. You’re trying to catch me. I saw it on your face to see if it’s going to mess up. No, the short answer is no. You only have two years until the date after a child emancipates to proceed with enforcement. After they emancipate, the final motion, that’s what I’m trying to say.

At 36:31 If you don’t file within those two years then it is waived. Let me think through this because that’s for enforcement. I think it’s the same for a confirmation. Are you sure? I said, I think.

At 36:50 If I can guess too, you know I think I thought the deadline for arrears was 22.  That’s four years after. I have one of these handy-dandy books. I think the arrears thing is two years, same as the enforcement.

At 37:26 How are you going to pull up the book? Yes, we have to pretend for the general community that we don’t actually know everything to make us look like common folk; okay yeah, we’re relatable attorneys. We’ll flip through these books, act like we’re looking for something, then we’ll give them the answer that we already knew. So, you want to go on to something else? I’ll look this up or do you want me to go on something else? So, they’re not sitting here watching us read? Why don’t you go on to something else?

At 38:13 Since this is my question and I shall get the correct answer, actually, I believe James is up. I’m a father and I want to put myself on child support. What do I do to start this process? I do not want to be with the mother of my child anymore. I’m fixing to leave her but not until I put myself on child support.

At 38:42 I’m not about to wait until many years later and still have to pay back pay, no thanks. I’d rather just be responsible right now and start paying child support right now. By the way, I’m a disabled veteran. What process do I need to do to put myself on child support?

At 39:04 Thank you for your service, sir. We’ll see if we can start there. There are a couple of different ways you can go about this. I do see that you’re looking to do a responsible thing and put yourself on child support.

At 39:20 You could go directly to the attorney general’s website, fill out that information, and let them know that you are seeking to start the child support process.

At 39:42 However, it’s going to be very cookie-cutter. We’re not going to ask you about possession. They’re not going to ask you about access which leads me to the second way you can go about doing this, by hiring a private attorney. You sit down; have a consult and that private attorney, if they’re a good one, they’ll ask you about your relationship and your goals with the child or children, how often you’d like to see each other, whether you actually want primary and those questions. Not only will this put you in a better position, in my opinion, but they could also have an effect on the amount of child support that you end up paying. Those are a couple of ways that you can go about doing this. Which way do you think is the better way, James?

At 40:46 The best way I would say, probably, don’t do it. The other is I’d go with a private attorney. I know people are going to say I’m biased. You just get more bang for your buck. let’s the details really. The details and the big thing is that the attorney general is not going to be your attorney.

At 41:34 They’re going to represent the state whereas your private attorney is going to seek your interest and more so that of your child. I mean, the short answer is, you go with the private attorney. It’s going to be a little bit more expensive, but in the long run, has the potential to pay off a lot bigger. I agree with regard to the AG. Are you still looking this up because I’m struggling to find it?

At 42:09 Me too. I know I’ve read it. I guess we’ll come back to this. I was right but keep looking because I might not be right. I said that with such confidence there for a second. My husband always tells me “You’re so impressive because the way you say things, you just really know you’re right and you have no idea what you’re talking about.” But I think I’m right.

At 42:45 The office of the attorney general, I think they serve an absolutely great function because what you can do, you know, if you are not somebody who has access to private funds to hire a private attorney, you can go there and fill out an application and if your mother or father they will help you to facilitate this process.

At 43:06 You can set up a suit affecting parent-child relationship. It’ll talk about your visitation, conservatorship rights, child support, and so on and so forth. It is definitely very helpful. Like James said. They’re not your attorney and they’re very clear about the fact that they are not your attorney.

At 43:27 What they are there to do is they’re there to act as an aid to the state to make sure that people are supporting their children. If people are not supporting their children, then they end up a liability of the state and the state doesn’t want that. They’ll set everything up. Typically, they have their standard guidelines that they’ll follow. If you’re the father, let’s just say hypothetically speaking, it’s dad that’s getting visitation and dad is the obligor.

At 44:04 If you’re the father, they’ll look at your pay record. They’ll set you up on child support. They’ll talk to you about insurance and then a lot of times depending on the age of yourself they’ll just do your standard visitation. If you want any extras, it’s never going to happen.

At 44:23 If you’re the mother and this is a big thing that I see a lot of times with moms with the office of the attorney general is they will just look at a pay record and they’ll say all right well he’s making you know 20 bucks an hour that’s your child support. The mother’s jumping up and down saying hold on.

At 44:38 I know that he does private work. He gets paid cash, or he has this other company and it’s in his wife’s name but he’s actually you know earning money on the back end.

At 44:49 I know it’s actually his. When you start getting into those types of crazy situations then you most certainly need to or should hire a private attorney. If you’re okay with things just kind of being standard, then you the AG is probably okay.  I always encourage people to do if they come down and consult with us and they’re kind of on the fence then I always tell them you can go to your first meeting because a lot of times they will set up a settlement conference.

At 45:27 Go and see what the other side wants, what they’re willing to offer you. Tell them what you want and if you guys can work it out there then, by all means, save your money. If after that first meeting you kind of realize he wants all this visitation or oh no she wants all this money, then at that point you need to lawyer up so that you can make sure that you’re getting what you want. The state isn’t going to care. So, amber says would it not be if the child is 18 or when they finish college?

At 46:01 Whichever one is stated in the decree. That’s a great question because we get that question a lot. We’re going back to the child support issue. A lot of people ask us that. Can you make him pay child support after the age of 18, until they go through college? The short answer is if it’s an agreement yes you can make them do that.

At 46:25 If it is, and I guess let me put a caveat on that, because if they agree to pay a child support after the child turns 18 then if they don’t pay it that’s actually you can’t hold them in contempt of court because that’s now a contract that you two have. There won’t be any potential quasi-criminal liability for not making those payments.

At 47:02 You can only enforce it as a contract at that particular point even if it says that in the decree. For the contempt action, Floyd, and for the confirmation of race did you find anything else because all I’m seeing is the two years.

At 47:21 What I found is the contempt is two okay confirmation of arrears is ten. This person’s still out of luck. No, they’re after 29. 18 plus 10 is 28. Maybe they graduated high school later because it’s from the date of emancipation which is what I was thinking.

At 47:45 Maybe he graduated high school. Let’s hope. It’s not that you don’t know simple arithmetic. I’m trying to give this guy a chance to get this birthday. I’m with you. Thank you, got held back, you’ve got a chance sir if you act today call now. At 48:20 Let’s just say maybe there’s a chance. I don’t know. I guess he can file a motion to confirm arrears. So, he files the mission from arrears, he sets them, and let’s back up just a little bit.

At 48:36 let’s What we are looking at is we have to determine where the original order was because he says he thinks that his mom’s living in Irving, but he lives in Vermont. I don’t know where he was whenever he and his parents got divorced. I just want to point out Mr. Rodriguez has it right. 18 plus 10 plus graduated late equals 29. Thank you, sir. You get me all right, go ahead thank you Justin for helping him out. He needs all the help he can get.

At 49:21 We don’t know where the original order stems from. If the order is out of California or wherever that’s going to be different laws, different rules. If it was in Texas, I guess you can follow motion to confirm arrears, and then I guess if she doesn’t pay it, Floyd, what’s the recourse? I think it’d just be the collections recourse, so liens and that kind of thing.

At 49:52 You can’t hold her in contempt of court because the court loses what they call exclusive jurisdiction over the child or subject matter jurisdiction to be able to hold in contempt.

At 50:05 You would get a judgment and then there are all sorts of different things that you can try to do. If she has property that’s not her homestead, you can put a lien on that property, try to levy that property. There are all sorts of different stuff you can try to do if you want to.

At 50:19 I think that’s sad. His father passed and he’s worried about the child support. I guess like if he’s trying to avenge his father. I mean she hasn’t paid since he was three. There’s a big bankroll to be had. Maybe, we have no idea what the order was.

At 50:48 Even if it was minimum wage, that’s $2,000 a year. Now you’re going to do math. Really? Yes, I can only do complex math so minimum wage it’s about $2,400 a year times 15 years.

At 51:03 You know you’re looking at about six thousand dollars-ish. Two-thousand dollars a year times fifteen years, so that’s thirty-something. Then you have the 400 times 15 which is 6,000. So, $36,000 is that right, 2400 times 15. You’re doing 24, you said $2,000. I changed it because I was thinking two hundred dollars a month. I was actually trying to get my math correct.

At 51:38 She called me out. You’re good, so $30,000 you know paid for the father’s funeral and all that kind of stuff. There’s some money there. It’s just sad. I don’t know. Sometimes what we do is just sad.  Who’s turn, is it? I don’t know. I don’t think I had the last one. It’s back on you. What can I do about child support arrears? My children are both grown in their 20s. I was a stranger for my kids for approximately 10 years and missed out on so much because of my vindictive ex-husband. My wages and taxes have been garnished and I am at a loss with my arrears continuing to accrue. Is there any way to appeal or fight this case or am I going to continue paying for the rest of your life? You will continue paying for the rest of your life.

At 52:40 Unfortunately, there’s no way you can go back and retroactively modify it at this point. The arrears are what they are. Your best thing you do is maybe reach out to him and see if you can negotiate some type of settlement in full for some cash. Figure out a different way to handle it.

At 52:59 Your remedies through the court are non-existent. Maybe you can get some type of agreement to get them taken care of. She kept waiting like ten years, that’s crazy.

At 53:19 Here’s what it is. You got to pay. Going back to your agreement thing, we’ve done this before where you know somebody owes $20,000 in back support. We will work out an agreement where we’ll pay $10,000 now in exchange for $20,000 over the course of 20 years. That works. I mean both sides are typically pretty happy with those sorts of agreements, but if the other side doesn’t want to accept it and they want every last cent well then, you’re going to have to pay it.

At 54:02 I would pay it off as quickly as you possibly can because it is a growing interest every single month. I’ve seen that before where people owe like ten-thousand dollars and they’re paying twenty-five dollars a month towards a ten-thousand-dollar judgment. At that point, you’re not even paying the interest. You really have to start attacking that payment as quickly as you can.

At 54:29 I guess this will be the last one. If my boyfriend is paying child support and lost his job, why is payment the same? He lost his job on August 5, 2021, and is now helping out friends. However, he isn’t getting paid what he was getting paid before. Can payments be lowered?

At 54:55 If so, how and who do we contact? Contact a lawyer and you have to file a motion. Modify and basically the argument is he’s making less money than what he was previously making and therefore we need to modify the order. He’s helping out friends, so I guess, is he on payroll? I don’t know or is he just getting cash? I don’t know what’s happening there, but if he’s just getting cash and he doesn’t really have anything to document his income and let’s just say hypothetically speaking he says that he’s only making minimum wage, then they’ll reduce it all the way down to minimum wage. If he is getting some sort of pay record and they’ll look at this pay record. They’ll calculate the new child support payment after or at that time.

At 55:56 If you go to the office of the attorney general’s website and they have a link where you can actually calculate your child support. We can post it here on Facebook here in just a second where you can go in and you can plug in the number of children that you have, the number of children that you’re actually going to be paying support for, the amount of health insurance, plug in your gross wages and then from there it will tell you this is how much your child’s obligation should be.

At 56:24 I can’t tell you the number of times that we’ve had people come in and do consultations with us and they’re like oh you know I had three more kids and so my child support should go down. Go through and we run the figures and we’re like you actually don’t want to file this because if you do your child support is going to go up.

At 56:39 You’re making more money than you were making a few years ago. It’s a good practical exercise to either run the calculation yourself or go into consultation and then they can run those calculations as well. We have that happen quite a bit where people lose their jobs, and they don’t file anything with the court.  What’s happening is all these months are going by and it’s just racking up a big chunk of change that you’re going to eventually, like you saw in our last question, when your children are grown and in their 20s, you’re still paying that support.  I understand that lawyers are expensive and that you know sometimes especially if you’ve just lost your job you don’t want to pay an attorney to go in and file a motion, but if you don’t, you’re going to end up with some of these situations where either your son’s 29 trying to come and see you or you’re still paying all sorts of money when they’re adults and that sucks. Call an attorney. Any other questions or concerns?  There was one question I had with regard to the lady who owes a whole lot in the arrears.

At 58:05 Much of the job is negotiating and trying to find an agreement outside of getting those two together. Say she would come in, I just questioned how would we look to get an agreement settled?

At 58:24 We don’t have much leverage outside maybe the kids getting them to come to speak with pop. Hey Bob, let mom off the hook, they say cash talks BS walks. If you bring someone $10,000 cash versus the potential to get twenty thousand later. Give my cash now right so isn’t it like a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush? Then I heard that one. Thank you, that’s true. I was going to say the nest, but I mean it could be a bush as well. It was definitely the bush. That’s the second thing. That’s what two in the bush. James, did you get the point? I got it, you so that’s how you spin it.

At 59:20 They may never collect the money. They can get it now. That’s it, that’s all you have. Like we say every single Monday, as we’re going through this step, it is not meant to be legal advice.

At 59:37 As you can tell from the fact patterns that we go through, the questions that we’re answering, and very specific information. It’s really those nuances that can change the response to any particular question. It’s always so important that you take the time to go and visit an attorney.

At 59:57 Tell them your story. Let me post up a little disclaimer while I’m saying all this good stuff. Go and visit with a good attorney. Have them answer your particular questions about your particular fact pattern because it’s always going to be different.

At 60:18 It always going to be different whenever different attorneys are looking at a question. As you can tell by our little song and dance that we do on Mondays.  I appreciate you guys’ tuning in. Floyd and James, I will see you later.