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family law Archives

Study looks at wage garnishments for child support, other debts

Some El Paso workers may be among the 7 percent nationwide whose wages were garnished in 2016. Most people whose wages are garnished are men who are behind on child support. Women whose wages are garnished tend to owe money on other types of debt such as student loans or taxes. These were some of the findings of the ADP Research Institute in a study that was released on Sept. 27.

Divorce leads to tax changes

Texas residents going through a divorce might not think about the potential tax ramifications of dissolving a marriage. However, knowing what to expect means one will not be surprised and can prepare for the tax changes that occur after divorce.

Establishing paternity with DNA testing

For some parents in El Paso, DNA testing might be necessary to establish paternity. This may be important for a mother who wants to get child support. Some high-profile paternity cases include those of Mick Jagger and of Apple founder Steve Jobs. In both cases, once paternity was established, the fathers paid support and eventually had relationships with their children as well.

Tax deductions and spousal support agreements

When El Paso couples divorce and alimony is awarded, the alimony payments are tax deductible for the one who pays. The person who receives the payments must pay tax on them. However, according to the U.S. Tax Court, the payments are only deductible if they are part of a formal separation or divorce agreement.

Negotiating an amicable child support agreement

Family law judges in Texas and around the country are often called upon to decide how much noncustodial parents should pay each month in child support, but couples can avoid having to go to court if they reach an agreement through informal negotiation or an alternative form of dispute resolution like mediation or collaborative family law. Divorcing couples are usually able to put their differences aside when the welfare of their children is at stake, and they may be able to settle issues like child custody and support amicably even when contentious matters like property division and spousal support remain unresolved.

Are prenuptial agreements a good idea?

When Texas couples start talking marriage, reception hall dates, flowers and honeymoon destinations are usually the primary topics. People generally do not want to think about the possibility of marital breakdown during this time. However, given the rate of divorce in the United States, finances are and should be a significant concern.

Reasons to have a prenuptial agreement

Although couples in Texas who are getting married might not want to think about prenuptial agreements, putting one together can have a number of benefits. A prenup may be particularly important in certain circumstances. For example, if one person is going into the marriage with considerably more assets than the other, they might want to protect those assets in the event that the marriage ends after just a few years.

Are prenuptial agreements worth doing for a second marriage?

Most likely, yes. According to the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of marriages now include one partner who was previously wed. The big difference between your first and second marriages? You'll likely start this one with kids already in the picture. That changes a lot of things, no matter whether the children are in preschool or high school.

Why stepparent adoption may be the right choice

Marriage and family relationships are complex and powerful bonds that are difficult to express in words. Yet, having a legal definition that reflects your family status can be an essential security blanket and reinforcement of bond. If you've forged a strong connection with your stepchild, living together as a family -- and being married to the child's mother or father -- doesn't offer the same legal protections as adoption.

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