Why do people divorce after the holidays?

divorce after the holidays
Need to finally file for divorce after the holidays end up being the last straw? Call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls at (940) 691-2100.

Five Reasons People Divorce After the Holidays

There are several reasons divorce increases after holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. In many instances people trying to keep things together can end up falling apart over the holidays and realizing their life is short and they need to make a change. But why now, during what should be the happiest time of the year?

  1. Happy Holidays for Children

Holidays are especially important to children. Thanksgiving and Christmas are a time to see grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. When parents divorce and kids may not see their extended family in the same setting. For many parents this is a reason to stay together for one more holiday season, depending on the situation and age of the children.

Divorce after the holidays gives children time to accept that things are going to change. While their extended family may still be there, things will be different. A divorce right before the holidays might be difficult for children. When the divorce comes after the holidays there is much more time for kids to adapt to change.

  1. Hope for Holiday Miracles

Life gets busy and the problems in marriages can easily be ignored. Couples in conflict know they have issues to work through. Arguments get postponed and remain unresolved. People grow apart. There is always hope, however that a Thanksgiving or Christmas miracle will spark the love and pave the way for healing.

When the miracle doesn’t come, and the conflict is reinforced by negative statements or behavior, people may realize that the marriage really is over. People are good at pretending things are okay and conflict will be resolved, but others may be able to see past the image of happiness. When the miracle saving the marriage doesn’t happen many consider accepting their feelings and seeking a divorce after the holidays.

Questions about the process? Please review this page of podcast summaries and links to all the important topics in Texas divorce, custody and family law in general: Divorce and Family Law Explained by Richard Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas.

  1. Truth and Flaws Exposed and Realized

Is it time to admit reality? The flaws that are already there seem more apparent over holidays. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, we spend more time with people. Increased interaction with a spouse with whom you have unresolved conflict is challenging. The things that bother you are inescapable. Have you ever been on a long car ride with someone you just wanted to be away from?

When couples realize they no longer love each other or even like one another, it may be time to call it quits. At times people simply grow apart. At other times people change. Things the other may do that are irritating can become so obnoxious that it drives you crazy. You start realizing you can no longer stand the former love of your life. That is when you know it may be time to file for a divorce after the holidays.

For more thoughts on post-holiday divorce, see the article on the Today Show website: Is divorce more common during the holidays?

  1. A New Year, a New Life

Do unhappy people want to spend another year in a bad marriage? A better question may be whether people spend another year trying to fix something beyond repair. As New Year’s approaches, we all look back. What did we do this year to make it great? Was it not so great? How many more years do we spend being unhappy or unfulfilled?

New Year’s resolutions for many include divorce and taking back one’s life and independence. Especially when people have wonderful children they love, they believe their marriage was not a waste. That said, a choice for happiness and personal journey may overcome the desire to remain together as a married couple.

Read our blog article, January Divorce Filings in Wichita Falls, for more thoughts on point.

  1. Support of Family and Friends

Around the holidays people seem tend to be more emotional and may talk to family and friends about marriage issues they might otherwise keep to themselves. And when the wine may flow, and emotions pour, some people may be telling someone else about their troubles in a way they can finally admit it to themselves.

It is painful admitting problems in marriage, when the holidays do not go as planned, or are not what they were in years past. Coming to accept conflict means you have an option to address problems and fix things. Accepting the reality of the situation might also trigger an avalanche of emotion leading to the decision to call a divorce lawyer and file for divorce after the holidays.

People also divorce after the holidays for additional reasons including substance abuse, family violence, cheating, financial problems and everything else that can go wrong in a marriage and family.

A post-holiday divorce might also be something that has been coming for a long time. Depending on the age of children and circumstances in the family, there could be challenges with child custody, spousal maintenance and issues over property and who will live in the marital residence.

Richard T. Sutherland is a Wichita Falls area divorce lawyer with decades of experience in high conflict divorce and custody issues. Whether you expect your divorce to be messy or you no longer know what to expect from your spouse, it is important to hire a divorce lawyer with the experience to anticipate the unexpected. Contact Mr. Sutherland via the website or call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls today at (940) 691-2100.

Enforcing Child Support in Texas

Enforcing Child Support in Texas
Enforcing Child Support in Texas. Need help? Call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls by dialing (940) 691-2100.

Establishing Child Support and Enforcing the Order

When parents divorce and have children, the court will determine and order monthly child support. Child support is also ordered when the parties are not married but paternity is established. Child support is usually set by state statute based on the net resource income of the parent ordered to pay support. The customary practice once child support is determined is to prepare a child support withholding order which is sent to the employer of the child support payer so that the child support money is withheld for distribution to the parent receiving the child support on behalf of the child.

Please listen to our Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast episode: Child Support Calculations in Texas. Attorney Richard T. Sutherland continues building a library of podcast interview content to help parents understand Texas divorce and family law issues including child support.                                                                                                                              

Enforcing a child support order is necessary when the parent responsible for paying, stops making payments. There could be several reasons child support is not being paid. The child support payor might have lost their job or there was a change in employment that caused the withholding process to fail.

Why Would a Parent Stop Paying Child Support?

There are many reasons a parent would stop paying child support. They may think they are above the law. They might believe that the other parent has enough money and does not need support. They might also believe that their personal needs are more important than complying with the court’s order to pay child support.

In high-net-worth divorces the income of the party ordered to pay might exceed the maximum guideline amount of child support to be ordered. To learn more, read our article about High-Net-Worth Divorce.

The parent with significant resources who may not need regular employment cannot simply refuse to work and use their voluntary unemployment as an excuse not to pay their child support obligation.

Parents Not Paying Child Support Say They Are Not Working

When a parent responsible for paying child support loses their job there is no paycheck from which to deduct child support payments. Too often there are people who either elect not to get a new job, or they hide where they are working from the other parent and their attorney who may be trying to enforce the child support order. There are also situations where a parent responsible for paying child support is working for cash that is not reported or withheld from pay.

Refusing to work is not a justifiable excuse to not pay child support. Where the parent can work and is not otherwise physically or mentally impaired, they must seek work to pay support.

Enforcing Child Support in Court

The court ordering the payment of child support retains jurisdiction to summon the non-paying parent to answer as to why they should not be held in contempt of court. There could be a simple reason that support was not being paid, such as an issue with the wage withholding order.

State of Texas Enforcing Child Support

Another way to enforce a child support order is to rely on the State of Texas Attorney General to enforce the support order through it’s Child Support Division (CSD). The CSD uses state resources to collect child support. The state has a long list of options it can use to collect unpaid support, including working with other states is the parent ordered to pay has moved outside of Texas.

Contempt Proceedings for Enforcing Child Support

A contempt proceeding can be initiated, seeking to find the child support obligor in contempt of court for failure to pay child support as ordered. Any other failures to comply with court orders can be including in the contempt proceeding.

The party failing to pay child support can be summoned to appear in court and address the judge, explaining why they are not in compliance with the child support order and why they are not making payments. Judges have discretion in penalizing a parent for failure to pay support and for refusal to comply with the court’s order.

The Court Can Put a Parent in Jail for Not Paying Child Support

If the court finds a parent in contempt of court for failure to pay child support, the judge has several options:

  1. Order the party in contempt to be jailed in the county jail for up to six months for every violation of the court’s orders;
  2. Order the party in contempt to pay a fine up to $500 for each violation of the court’s orders;
  3. Order the party in contempt to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees and court costs; or
  4. Place the party in contempt on community supervision and require them to comply with all the terms of a community supervision order.

There are additional remedies to recover unpaid child support including placing liens on personal property and real estate and foreclosing on the lien. The parent seeking unpaid support can also obtain a money judgment and wage withholding order to be sent to an employer.

In Texas, child support amounts more than 3 months past due can trigger a driver license suspension by the State of Texas. Professional licenses may also be suspended, as well as fishing and hunting licenses when child support is not paid.

About Richard T. Sutherland, Attorney at Law for Enforcing Child Support in Texas

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Wichita Falls, Texas with over 40 years of experience. Mr. Sutherland negotiates and litigates divorce, custody and child support matters. Call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland if you need help enforcing child support in Texas. Contact the firm online or call (940) 691-2100 to schedule a consultation and learn your rights and options.

High net worth divorce

High Net Worth Divorce

There are a variety of complex issues in high net worth divorces cases in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. Attorney Richard Sutherland offers an overview of some of the high conflict problems people have involving complex finances, child support and spousal maintenance, and how to isolate differences that can be resolved in mediation and what needs to be litigated in court.

Complex Finances

High net worth divorce lawyers frequently address valuation issues involving investments and family shares in business interests. In a divorce, there may be questions about what money was earned during the marriage and is community property versus separate property. Complex calculations and valuations are often accomplished by your divorce lawyer hiring business and divorce financial professionals.

Hidden assets may be traced by a legal investigator trained in high net worth divorce asset issues. In some cases, the assets could be at risk of transfer or disposal and a restraining order might be needed to prevent disturbance to assets. Safe deposit boxes and their content alone can be the subject of contested litigation.

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance

In a high net worth divorce case, financial issues involving child support and spousal maintenance can involve the exceptions to general Texas family law rules. For example, in Texas there is a maximum cap on guideline child support. There is a limited exception where the court can order additional support for the proven needs of a child, which may be involved in cases where a child might have a limiting disability.

Spousal maintenance can be ordered in marriages of ten years or more and are absolutely limited by the Texas Family Code to 20% of the paying spouses average monthly gross income or $5,000, whichever is less. The maximum duration of spousal maintenance is 10 years for marriages of 30 years or more. Shorter marriages have shorter durations of payments if they are ordered.

Mediation & Litigation

An experienced high net worth lawyer can evaluate complex divorce issues and work with their client on a strategy that makes the most sense and considers the client’s bottom line. While some issues can be settled in mediation, others may require a trial to a judge or jury. During the discovery process where the parties in the divorce exchange income and asset information there may be questions about certain asset valuations and other assets that seem to be missing from discovery disclosures. It is important to hire a divorce and family law attorney who knows how to untangle a web of complex issues.

Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support, High Net Worth Divorce in Texas
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law Family Law Practice Areas Including High Net Worth Divorce

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?

You might need a temporary court order for child custody.

Parents researching and preparing for divorce quickly learn they might want a temporary court order for child custody. If you and the other parent agree about all the issues involving the children, you may not need a temporary order. For most, however, issues involving children including custody and support are handled in temporary orders hearings not long after a divorce case is filed. In Texas family law what is loosely referred to as custody is called conservatorship. To learn more about managing conservatorship, listen to our recent podcast about Texas child custody and conservatorship.

Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?
Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?

What is a temporary hearing for divorce?

A temporary hearing is for temporary orders for child custody, child support and other issues that need to be resolved so that everyone knows where they are going to be and how they will be supported during the divorce case. After the temporary hearing, the temporary orders issued by the court will be binding on you and the other parent until the divorce is concluded after a final trial or settlement agreement with a parenting plan.

Preparing for a temporary custody order hearing:

Local courts have time limits on temporary custody order hearings. For example, in Wichita Falls, the Wichita County Court rules limit hearings regarding managing conservatorship to two hours. Preparing for a temporary hearing for divorce, attorneys and their clients work to find areas where the parties can agree on certain issues. For example, if you can agree on certain issues involving the children, the attorneys and court can focus more time and effort on resolving the high conflict problems.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

January divorce filings in Wichita Falls

 

January divorce filings are popular for several reasons. Many of the people filing for divorce this month knew that they were going to get a divorce well before the holidays.

While it might not be ideal driving to the homes of friends and family knowing you plan to divorce your spouse right after New Year’s, many people decide to make it past the holidays before they file in January. In some cases, spouses are on the fence and take a wait and see approach, and when things happen that justify suspicions and instinct, January may be an ideal time to file for divorce.

Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support, January divorce filings
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law in Wichita Falls, Texas – Family Law Practice Areas

January divorce filings are popular for several reasons:

  • January is a quiet month. Without holidays there is more time to gather information and work with a divorce attorney in identifying key objectives and issues in the divorce;
  • Children are back in school. As soon as kids go back to school, parents seeking divorce can concentrate without the disrupted schedule and routine often associated with the holidays;
  • Early divorce filers get earlier Temporary Orders hearings. Court calendars and early hearing dates fill up quickly when many people are filing new cases. When you file early, your chances are better that you can have your Temporary Orders hearing completed before spring.

Note that while many divorces are planned some time in advance, in other cases, unexpected events and occurrences can lead to a divorce people never saw coming.

January can be a stressful time for many trying to pay the credit cards and bills after overspending during the holidays. Financial distress is a common reason people divorce.

After the holidays people who were on their best behavior might sour after New Year’s. When the fights among couples are stirred back up after the holidays are over, it can be bad. In cases involving family violence those filing for divorce may have not been able to prepare for a divorce and can need extra help and support. Where one spouse lacks access to money, they may ask the court for an order of interim attorney’s fees, where the court can order one party to contribute to the attorney’s fees of another.

Please feel free to review several pages on our website dedicated to a variety of family law issues.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

Child support in Texas

A Texas court may order either or both parents to support a child until they are 18 years old or graduate from high school, whichever occurs later. In certain situations, paternity of a parent may need to be established before they can be compelled to pay child support. Medical support orders and health care coverage may also be ordered by the court. Generally, when a court orders child support payments, a withholding order is completed and sent to the parent’s employer and the child support money is automatically withheld from their pay and distributed to the custodial parent through the state disbursement unit.

Family Law, Dirovrce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law Family Law Practice Areas

How is child support calculated in Texas?

In Texas, the non-custodial parent is ordered to pay a fixed monthly amount of money for support of a child (called the obligor) based on the number of children the parent is supporting and the obligor’s net resources. The court determines the child support obligor’s net resources by calculating their total earnings and reducing that amount by how much they pay in income tax, social security as well as their contributions to the child’s health insurance and medical support and so forth. The calculations are more complex than simply take-home pay less taxes.

Once the net resources are determined, the child support amount is based on the number of children. For one child, the parent will pay 20% of their monthly net resources. The monthly amount increases with more children: 25% for two; 30% for three; 35% for four; 40% for five and not less than 40% for six or more children.

How does child support modification and enforcement work in Texas?

When the parent ordered to pay support loses a job, receives a significant change in pay or otherwise is not paying child support for a variety of reasons it is possible to modify the child support and ask the court to assist in enforcing the child support order. Where there is a change in income, the court may review the net resources of the parent in a hearing to modify support or accept an agreement by the parties. In an enforcement case, the court may impose penalties including contempt of court and possible jail time for failure to pay court ordered child support.

Please also review the pages on our website dedicated to a variety of family law issues.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Welcome to The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast

Richard Sutherland Podcast: Welcome to The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast

 

This is The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast, a monthly Internet radio podcast program with featured host, Attorney Richard Sutherland who shares information and thoughts about Texas divorce, family law and commercial litigation.

 

Common Divorce and Family Law Topics:

  • Introducing Attorney Richard Sutherland;
  • Common concerns in divorce and family law cases;
  • Children’s issues and child support and custody information;
  • Richard Sutherland is also experienced in commercial litigation.

Attorney Richard T. Sutherland practices family law and commercial litigation in Wichita Falls and all over Texas. Since being licensed by the State of Texas in 1976, Richard Sutherland has been an active member and leader in many legal organizations including the State Bar of Texas. He is a frequent speaker and continuing legal education contributor. Sutherland is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support, Family Law Podcast
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law Family Law Practice Areas

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.