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Thomas James Daley
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Thomas Daley’s Answers

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  • Does Tarrant County, TX have peace bonds and can I apply for one myself?

    My wife and I are divorcing. She lives in Tarrant county and I live in Harris County. I see no indication that a peace bond can be applied for in Tarrant county. I suspect she may destroy our house that she lives in out of spite so I'd like to tak...

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Sorry to hear you are having to endure such difficulties.

    The best procedure is to file for divorce in your local county. As part of your divorce petition, ask the court for a temporary ex parte restraining order that prohibits the conduct you are concerned about. Serve your wife with the divorce petition and the temporary restraining order and it will have the effect you were seeking to achieve through a peace bond.

    You can apply for a peace bond in Tarrant County, but it won't do what you want. A peace bond involves the forfeiture of the bond. The bond will probably be paid out of community assets. So the violation of a peace bond results in the loss of community property--the opposite of your desired outcome.

    On the other hand, a TRO can be enforced through the contempt process, which means your wife can be put in jail if she violates it.

    Good luck!!

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  • Can they get a motion reinstate after the case been dismissed for prosecute?

    I had a court case for paternity and the other party wanted back up child support and to decide when I can see my daughter so we went to final court and judge decided my child support payment and denied back up child support and gave me my visitat...

    Thomas’s Answer

    If the court reinstates the case, it will be in exactly the same place as it was when it was dismissed for want of prosecution. Based on the court denying retroactive ("back") child support, it sounds like this might be good for you. What you need to do, if you want to nail down the judge's order, is draft a final order, give the other parent a chance to review the order, then file a motion to sign the final order.

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  • Is there something I can do? Can we add the possession order to be included? Do we have to do the whole process over?

    We filed a divorce by ourselves and the final decree was done on April 2nd. There was an incident in regards to my x picking our son up at the daycare. After review of the final decree it doesn't show the information in regards to what we discusse...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Time is running out. You need to consult with a family law attorney this week and pay them to file a motion for new trial. You absolutely must do this if you want any change at all in fixing this quickly. Once the court loses plenary power of the case, you have a much more expensive suit on your hands.

    Do not try to file a motion for new trial on your own Recent (2013) changes to the law make it more difficult to get a new trial. The court used to be able to grant a new trial "in the interest of justice", but the judge can't do that any more. There has to be a well-articulated legal basis to get a new trial.

    You don't have to start completely over, I hope, but you do have to get a new order drafted and signed by the court.

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  • Why would my divorce fee that I've already paid not include the decree? I'm now told its a separate fee.

    Had final hearing on divorce 3 weeks ago. Now my attorney is telling me that my cost of the divorce did not include the decree.

    Thomas’s Answer

    I don't know who you hired, but if you hired one of these really inexpensive attorneys--who say they'll handle a divorce for $599 or some outrageously low fee like that--make you pay extra for every little thing they do. It guess it's a legitimate business model, but only to the extent that the fee agreement makes the terms and conditions and scope of services very clear.

    The other side is that if your attorney won't prepare the decree without getting paid more, you can just go hire another attorney to draft the decree for you. Just as a measurement for you, an attorney who works by the hour might charge $800 to $1600 to draft a decree, assuming there are children involved AND your ex signs the decree without the necessity of a contested court appearance.

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  • Can I amend my current divorce petition to include arrears that my husband owes?

    My "husband" and I've been separated since 1991 and he told me in 2000 that he filed for our divorce and that I didn't have to sign anything because we agreed to the divorce but I've recently learned that this was all untrue. I have filed for the ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I would amend the petition to claim retroactive child support as long as your children are not too old. You need to invest in a consultation with a good family law attorney in your area. Going at it alone like this could lead to you losing significant rights. For one thing, depending on the nature of the settlement, you might have a property interest in the settlement itself, irrespective of the child support issue. To protect yourself, you should immediately have an IL attorney file an intervention in the lawsuit that is paying the settlement. If you intervene in that suit, which you almost definitely have the right to do, no settlement will get paid out until your case is resolved.

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  • Am I correct that under Texas law I will pay 17.5 percent of my income for child support for the new born in November?

    I impregnated a woman from Texas. The baby is due in November. I have one daughter from another relationship my daughter is 8. I don't have a formal court order of support/custody for my 8 year old. The mother and I share custody one week on one w...

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), the child support obligation should be handled in CA. Your smartest move would be to file a child support case YOURSELF in CA as soon as the baby is born. That's a belt-and-suspenders approach to keeping jurisdiction in CA.

    If you dare travel to TX before a suit is pending in CA, she will have you served in TX and the case will be handled under TX law. Consult a CA child support attorney for more specific advice.

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  • Which interpretation is correct?

    Texas Standard Possession order summer possession. The NCP has chosen to exercise their extended summer possession in 2 periods. The first period is 11 days and the second is 18 days for a total of 30. These two periods are bookended by the first ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    NCP has found a way to game the order. Unless the order states that multiple periods of possession must be separated by X days, I think NCP wins this round, unless CP designates that first weekend in July as the weekend to interrupt her "30" days.

    Ninety percent of my cases are in Collin County. I completely understand the frustration of NCP playing around like this. But unless there is some harm to the child, I don't think any one of the judges up in McKinney is going to be happy over parents arguing over 2 or three days of summer possession. We have great judges who work hard and give every case due consideration. At the same time, when parents can't agree on minor issues like this AND fail to articulate how it is affirmatively harming the child, the parents won't enjoy a warm experience in the courtroom.

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  • As much as we'd love to help his girl out, we don't feel it's fair to have to pay child support if we don't even get to see her!

    My boyfriend had custody court in Kansas a few months ago. We live in Texas. We drove to Kansas and was keeping his ex updated on how far away we were. We hit traffic due to a wreck and it set us back. We let her know this and told her we'll be th...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Child support and visitation are two different things. He has to financially support his daughter even if he never gets to see her. I 100% agree that it is not fair, but the remedy is to get visitation time, not cut off child support.

    Unfortunately, your boyfriend made several mistakes. First, he cut it too close--the traffic excuse, even though it is probably true, is one judges hear all the time. Somehow everyone else makes it to court on time. Second, he called his former girlfriend to say he was running late instead of calling the court. Court's move cases around all the time--but only if they know they need to. Third, once he got an adverse ruling, he didn't file a motion for new trial within 30 days so that he could get the court to reconsider its judgment.

    Now, he needs to contact a family law attorney in KS and see if there are any remedies remaining under KS law. In TX, he would be in a very bad position--but of course in TX we don't have the insane notion of "full custody." See if a KS attorney can offer any ideas.

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  • What needs to be done to get the Office of the Attorney General to act faster on my child support case?

    The father of my son has not paid child support for 5 months. I called the oag and was told that I have to call in 3 times before I can get the enforcement process going. Does this mean that I have to wait another 3 months before anything can be d...

    Thomas’s Answer

    You have received excellent responses from other attorneys. Also, consider going to the OAG's web site and applying for services there.

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  • How would I even attempt to try and find out where I stand if we were to legally separate/divorce him if I have no income?

    I will be married 11 years in June. My husband and I have 1 son together that is 17 and a daughter who is 5 that we have conservatorship since 2012. I do not work but he is employed for the United States Postal Service. My sole income is through h...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Mr. Russell and Mr. Baker gave excellent responses. I would just add that getting divorce without first doing some significant planning about how you will pay your bills is a terrible idea. Start by getting a job and enjoy the freedom of some measure of economic independence. Because the fact is, once you are divorced, he will not be able to pay your health insurance and will not be required to pay your car payment, car insurance, or cell phone bill.

    You might spousal support, but only if you have diligently sought employment. You will get child support, but he may or may not pay it.

    Also, you absolutely must have an attorney. If you don't, he will hire one and take you to the cleaners. He might even get primary managing conservatorship of your children--it can be really bad. The court can order him to pay your legal fees, so don't be afraid to demand that. Just make a plan before you pull the trigger.

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