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Karen L. Marvel
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Karen Marvel’s Answers

434 total


  • How can we get child support stopped when one of the 2 kids lives with us?

    when child support was granted both kids lived with their mother. son has lived with me since January. i pay all medical ins.and $525 a month. the mother also gets ssi and a ck on each child. divorce was granted in Montgomery county. i live in tri...

    Karen’s Answer

    You need to file a motion to modify conservatorship (custody) and child support and ask for temporary orders to reduce the child support and give you the primary residence of the child living with you. Because the mother is moving to Colorado you should do it soon. Your child has not lived in Trinity County for six months so Montgomery County is the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction and you will need to file there. Please look here on Avvo to find a lawyer in that area who can help you.

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  • Does a Pauper's Oath for divorce cover the entire process?

    I'm on SSI, RSDI, I am on Medicare and Medicaid as well. I am just unable to pay for a divorce and I don't want to be married to this man who is abusive and has anger issues.

    Karen’s Answer

    A pauper's oath covers the filing fees only. You need to apply for Legal Aid if you receive SSI and RSDI to see if you qualify for their services. There is also a legal clinic at St. Mary's law school that assists with cases. Finally, if you do not want to wait for either of those but want to handle the case yourself, (which I do not recommend in your circumstances), you can get assistance in Bexar County after you fill out your paperwork from the staff attorneys in the Office of Civil Court Administration. However, the time period to schedule your divorce can be as long as 9 months. Good luck.

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  • How can I find out what I owe in back child support?

    I have been paying on my child support for a while now but cannot seem to find out what my balance is. I have been having a lot of difficulty figuring out what i owe. Can you help me please?

    Karen’s Answer

    Call 800-252-8014. They will tell you your balance. Ask the Attorney General's office to give you your access numbers so you can go online and look up your account. I agree with the other attorney who said to verify that all payments are credited properly.

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  • The Child Support Office levied our bank account without ANY notice.

    None of the money in the account is my husband's, who owes this, but due to a back injury and surgeries is unable to work. ALL of the money is mine and our son's. I spoke to the bank who said we should have been notified. They took everything I ha...

    Karen’s Answer

    There is a difference between a lien and a levy. Neither requires prior notice because the fact your husband has unpaid child support is the notice to him. Every child support payment not made is a judgment, which allows the Attorney General to issue a lien, which freezes the money.
    If he has been to court and there is a judgment, the AG can issue a levy, which seizes the money.
    The time period to contest a levy is MUCH shorter than the time period to contest a lien. But you may successfully contest it if the money is not your husband's. Please contact the Texas Attorney General immediately even if you cannot afford an attorney and show them proof the money is yours. Good luck.

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  • Back Child support?

    I have not received child support from my ex since our daughter was born and she is a year old now. I've been covering health insurance and all other expenses. Will the judge order him to pay back support? And if so is it normally paid over time o...

    Karen’s Answer

    The judge will most likely order retroactive support and possibly prenatal expenses if you have costs for your insurance and out of pocket medical if you have any. Generally the retroactive support is paid out over time. If your ex has the ability to pay a lump sum, show the proof to the judge and ask for a lump sum. As of right now, he has no legal duty to support the child. That does not happen until temporary or final orders are signed by the judge. Good luck.

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  • Does the attorney General offer modification of child support services?

    I do not believe that I am paying the correct amount of child support.

    Karen’s Answer

    The Attorney General represents the State of Texas and not an individual party. You are a customer and not a client. While I agree with my learned counsel that their mission is to collect child support, they also look at your case. If your facts warrant a reduction they will recommend it. The law says there a "material and substantial change in circumstances," which is the standard, will decrease your child support by 20% or $100 per month. You will still pay the health insurance premiums in addition to your child support. Apply online at the AG website. However it will be much faster if you can afford to hire a private attorney to represent you. Good luck.

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  • Can the attorney general of Texas seize my SSI back pay for arrears?

    I had my children for many or most of the years that the attorney general is trying to charge me for. I've just never had a way to either go to court because of work or illness to have the child support order changed.

    Karen’s Answer

    No party, including the Attorney General, can garnish SSI. (supplemental Security Income) . It is specifically excluded from the definition of earnings. But, SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) and Social Security Old Age Income CAN be garnished. It is important to know which benefit you are getting. Also if you are getting SSDI or Old Age income, the child/ren are eligible for a benefit that is credited against your child support obligation. Take your Social Security paperwork to the Attorney General's office and if you have a lawyer for your Social Security case, have him/her look it over. Good luck.

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  • 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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