EXPERIENCED REPRESENTATION FOR DIVORCE, PARENTAGE, CHILD CUSTODY, MODIFICATIONS, ENFORCEMENT, SUPPORT & MORE
When dealing with a family legal dispute, it is important to work with an experienced legal professional who understands the laws and procedures related to your specific case. Since 1999, the legal team at Underwood & Associates has been guiding clients to successful outcomes in a range of cases.
Our McKinney family law attorney handles all family law matters, including:
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
- Post-divorce enforcement
- Child support enforcement
- Visitation enforcement
- Parental alienation
- Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
- Change of venue
- Establishing parent-child relationship
- Name change
We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to handling family disputes. When you work with our firm, we take the time to listen to your needs and goals, as well as answering all your questions and addressing your concerns. We can then develop a plan that is custom-tailored for your unique situation.
The court may modify an order that provides rights and duties for a child, possession of a child, the support of a child, including an order for health care coverage or an order for dental care coverage, if the circumstances of the child or a person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed since the date of the order.
Underwood & Associates is ready to help you in protecting the best interest of your child and assist you in securing an order that best fits yours and your child’s needs.
For both the custodial or noncustodial parent, child support payments are solely for the benefit of the child and determined by the court based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent's income. When calculating support payment in Texas, the courts will first determine the monthly net resources of the obligor, which is that person's income minus any of the following factors:
- Social Security taxes;
- federal income tax;
- state income tax;
- union dues (if they are being withheld); and
- expenses for health insurance coverage for their children (if being withheld).
Spousal maintenance, spousal support, or contractual alimony is decided on a case by case basis. There are generally four ways in which a spouse can obtain an award of spousal maintenance:
- The spouse from whom spousal maintenance is sought has been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that constitutes an act of family violence against the other spouse or other spouse’s child within 2 years of the divorce filing or while the divorce is pending.
- The marriage has lasted for at least 10 years and the spouse seeking spousal maintenance is either disabled, the primary caretaker of a disabled child, or lacks earning ability to provide for their child or their own minimum reasonable needs.
- The parties can agree that spousal maintenance or contractual alimony be payable for a certain period of time.
- If a spouse is a sponsored immigrant, they could enforce the Affidavit of Support executed by the other spouse and request that the court order the sponsor to provide the immigrant spouse 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines until they become a U.S. citizen or until they have earned 40 credits of work history.
Enforcement of Court Orders
Enforcement refers to the obligation of a person to obey a court order. In the context of family law, the court may enforce orders dealing with a variety of matters, such as child support, visitation, property division, and post-divorce spousal support.
Be aware that in order for a court order to be enforceable, it must use "command language" and be clear, specific, and unambiguous in such a way that the parties will know exactly what the court ordered. For instance, in the case of visitation, the court order must command the party who has the child to surrender the child to the other party at the start of the visitation period and order the other party to return the children at the end of the period. The order should specify the place where the children will be exchanged and state in specific detail the time when each visitation is to begin and end. In an example of child support, the court order must state the specific amount to be paid, to whom the payments are to be made, the date on which the payments are to begin, where the payments are to be made, and the specific date the payments are to end.
If a person is found in contempt of a court order, the judge may punish them with a fine and/or jail time.
Parental Alienation Cases
Parental alienation refers to attempts to ruin or negatively impact the child’s relationship with or opinion of the other parent. Sometimes, a parent may do this unintentionally, but other times a parent may expose the child on purpose in an attempt to sway the child on their side, which they might see as helpful in their child custody case.
Parental alienation may be present if your child exhibits the following examples of behavioral, emotional or cognitive impairments:
- is disrespectful or insulting towards you;
- is hostile and defiant while exhibiting extreme disobedience;
- destroys mail, gifts, or other items you sent or gave them;
- refuses to see you or have little to no contact with you;
- is aloof toward you, when the child had a close relationship with you in the past;
- imitates the other parent’s words and behaviors;
- talks about the other parent as if they are always right and always good;
- is negative toward your extended family.
Because parental alienation in Texas can affect the outcome of a custody case, it’s important to act quickly. Contact Underwood & Associates immediately for legal support in a family case, especially when you believe parental alienation is present. We have experience in handling parental alienation cases and we understand the complexities involved in these highly emotional cases.
We Practice Family Law in Your Best Interest
Underwood & Associates stands ready to take your case to trial, but only if you agree that it is truly the right way to resolve the issues at hand. We look out for the best interests of our clients by implementing and exploring various legal strategies to reach the most favorable outcome. We have experience in handling parental alienation cases and we understand the complexities involved in these highly emotional cases.
Our legal team has had great success assisting clients with:
- Settlement conferences
- Temporary orders hearings
- Temporary restraining orders
- Protective orders and injunctions
- Litigation – trial before the Judge or Jury