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Karen L. Marvel
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Karen Marvel’s Answers

457 total


  • I want to clear the father of my child's child support arrears.

    Is there a way to clear the arrears and interest for his child support payments?

    Karen’s Answer

    No party can release child support arrears and interest unless the arrears and interest have already been reduced to judgment. It is mandatory under the Texas Family Code. Parties are forbidden from self help and it is void. You can go to an attorney and do a motion to confirm child support arrearages (if there is no judgment) and after the judgment is granted, release the judgment. If there is a judgment done already by the Attorney General or a private attorney, you can release all or part of it.
    There is good public policy behind this procedure. It protects parents from being pressured into giving up child support in a custody case or in a family violence case. I don't know your circumstances but carefully consider why you are doing this. Child support is a duty to to the child. Maybe you can give the money to your children to help them out if you don't need it anymore. Good luck.

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  • How can I go about getting full custody of my children from there father?

    I have sole custody of both my children and their father has partial I would like to take complete custody from him so my new husband can adopt the children. My husband has been in there live since our little girl was born. But there biological fa...

    Karen’s Answer

    Mr. Guidry is correct about the procedure. Termination and stepparent adoption is not a do it yourself procedure. If the father does not agree to relinquish his parental rights there will need to be court hearing to terminate his parental rights. Also, the law requires a social study of your home with your new husband to verify that the children are well cared for (which is a no-brainer but still required by law). Please look here on AVVO for an attorney in your county who does adoptions who can work with you. Adoption is happy law for lawyers -- one of the best parts of my practice. Good luck!

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  • Accelerated Child Support after ex-husband's death - Missed Child support payments

    My ex-husband passed away last year and I am wondering what the procedure is for requesting accelerated child support? In my divorce decree it is ordered that my ex-husband's estate would be responsible for the child support after his death. In a...

    Karen’s Answer

    Your decree may also state that any benefits the children receive from Social Security or VA as a result of their father's death shall be credited against the child support obligation. That money may wipe out any claim for future support but not the back support. You need a lawyer who handles child support and probate law. Look here on AVVO for someone who does both. I am sorry for your loss. Good luck in this difficult situation.

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  • How much does a child custody attorney cost?

    Paying child support but still can't see my child.

    Karen’s Answer

    I am changing this case to child custody area. You need to look for attorneys in the county where your case is pending and talk to several about the particular facts in your case. Do you want visitation enforcement to see your child or for your child to live with you? Are there reasons (criminal history or family violence) why the other parent does not let you see the child? Are there mental health issues? See if any of the lawyers offer free or reduced fee consultation so you can get a feel for whether this lawyer is right for you. Custody battles are expensive - financially and emotionally -- be prepared. Good luck.

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  • Child support modification

    Idid a child support modification through the attorney general on January 19,2015, and went online to check that status through public civil records with my case. My question is according to the case information the other party still has not been ...

    Karen’s Answer

    You applied for a modification request through the Attorney General. That is the start of the process -- not the filing of an action. You are a customer and not a client as all the paperwork you filled out stated. They gather documentation and send out paperwork to the other side. Expect to wait 3 - 6 months for a determination or a review conference, which is the time they have under federal and state law. You have no grounds for a complaint when you are getting free services. Please look into hiring a private attorney. It is worth the money to move your case along faster and get your child support changed.

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  • My ex has not filed QDRO as stated in divorce. How long does he have and what should I do to ensure I get my half.

    We got divorced 6 years ago, I keep after him about filing QDRO, he will not complete paper work. I need to know what to do. He wanted the divorce, he should take care of it a and pay for it.

    Karen’s Answer

    If you want the money from the QDRO, you should go ahead and pay to have it done. If you don't want to pay your lawyer to do it there are very reasonable lawyers who prepare QDROs here on AVVO or you can search on the internet. If your divorce decree required him to prepare the paperwork you might be able to recover your attorney's fees for filing to enforce it. Either way, it's worth the money to get your share. All you are doing now is getting angry about something that is not going to change unless you take action. Good luck.

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  • I terminated my parent child rights, neither attorney filed the paperwork. Now I am beign forced to pay retroactive support.

    Can I do anything to terminate the retroactive child support order? After I signed the termination papers I never had contact with my child, it wasn't until several years later that I found out that the termination paperwork was never filed and th...

    Karen’s Answer

    It sounds like you signed the affidavit of relinquishment but the custodial parent never filed the termination so nothing was completed. Unfortunately for you, the child support obligation and interest do continue. Once the arrears have been reduced to judgment, you may be able to negotiate a settlement but not before that. It would be the compassionate thing for the custodial parent to do, considering you were led to believe your child support cut off on the day you signed the affidavit. The support you owed up to that date remained due and payable. I urge you to consult a lawyer. This delicate situation cannot be handled through the Attorney General where you are a customer, not a client. Good luck.

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  • How to finalize sale of divorce property?

    The property has been sold. My name isn't on deed. We were married when it was purchased in full. Divorce decree gives me the listing agreement and half of sale. It has been listed for 8 years. Buyer is still interested but just as frustrated as I...

    Karen’s Answer

    The other lawyers are right -- it sounds like an enforcement may be what is needed. You may also need a receiver appointed to handle the sale who takes control of the property (and boots your ex out of the property) to handle the sale. Get to a lawyer immediately to get some help interpreting the order and find out what can be done before the buyer pulls out of the sale. Good luck!

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  • Will Legal Guardianship protect the girls from their biological father being able to just take them away?

    I have been raising my three nieces for 9yrs. Their Father has been incarcerated for about 10 years and will get out this year. Their mother is not involved in their lives, but calls maybe twice a year. I have no real legal documents, only a guard...

    Karen’s Answer

    What we don't know about this fact situation is: are there any custody orders in place already? If so, you need to file a petition to modify the current order. If not, you need to file an original petition. Either way, like all of the lawyers said, you need a lawyer to protect these girls and keep them in the household where they have grown up. You may be afraid of the costs. If you can't afford the first lawyer, shop around until you find someone you can afford. Borrow or raise the money from family and friends. This is too important to ignore or hope you can do it yourself. Good luck.

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  • I need my information on my child support for but don't have my con number

    I have my social security and my sons

    Karen’s Answer

    Call 1-800-252-8014 and talk to the Attorney General's office. They will mail you the CIN number for your case so you can check on payments. I think that is what you are looking for. Good luck.

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