Answers to 5 “What Ifs” for Divorced Fathers
Today, fathers routinely play a much more active role in the life of their children post-divorce than they traditionally did in the past. That can also mean that fathers face hurdles and obstacles to parenting after a divorce. For fathers facing post-divorce dilemmas, Fort Worth father’s rights attorney Jon Boyd provides answers to five “what ifs.”
My Ex Won’t Let Me See the Kids. In the State of Texas, “possession and access” refers to the time each parent spends with a child. The Parenting Plan you submitted to the court should include a detailed possession and access schedule. That Parenting Plan would have been incorporated into your final divorce decree, making the terms of that plan orders of the court. Violating those terms, therefore, is a violation of a court order and can subject your ex to penalties for contempt of court. If your ex is refusing to honor the possession and access schedule as set forth in your divorce decree, it may be time to consult with a divorce attorney because you may need the court to intervene.
My Ex Wants to Move Out of State. Depending on how long ago your divorce occurred, and how thorough the terms of the divorce were at the time, your divorce decree may have a geographical restriction provision in the decree. Commonly, a relocation restriction provision prohibits the managing conservator (in this case your ex) from moving more than 100 miles from where the parties lived at the time of the divorce. In that case, your ex must notify you, in writing, as soon as she is aware of the impending move, but no later than 60 days prior to the intended move date. You have a right to file a formal objection to the move with the court. If you wish to object, consult with an attorney right away.
I Lost My Job and Can’t Pay My Child Support. If you believe your situation is temporary, try and pay what you can until it improves. If you fall too far behind and/or believe the situation will not improve anytime soon you may wish to try and modify the child support order. The worst thing you can do is to ignore the situation. Failing to pay your child support as ordered can result in serious consequences, such as the court:
My Ex Wants More Child Support. Although the provisions of your divorce – including the child support order – are considered final orders of the court, modifications of child support are frequently requested and granted. Texas will consider modifying an existing child support order if one of the following applies:
It has been three or more years since the order was established or last modified and the monthly amount of the child support ordered differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to child support guidelines; or
A material and substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the child support order was last set.
I Believe My Ex Is Neglecting or Abusing the Kids. If you have legitimate concerns about your child’s physical and/or emotional welfare, there are steps you can take. First, make sure you know what your parental rights are from a legal standpoint. For example, if you have joint managing conservatorship you have the same right your ex does to have your child examined by a physician and/or psychologist. If you believe your child is in danger, consult with a divorce attorney immediately about requesting an emergency hearing in court to address your fears.
Contact a Fort Worth Fathers Rights Attorney
If have concerns or questions about your rights as a father, contact an experienced Fort Worth father’s rights attorney at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.