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Karen L. Marvel
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Karen Marvel’s Answers

463 total


  • How do i get texas child support to stop billing me for my kids over 18

    I have 3 daughters, 1is 19, 1 is 20, and 1 17. Im still receiving monthly bills for the full 2500, thats what i paid on all 3. Do the other two adults fall off or do i need to go to court. My bill each month is 4,895$ ??

    Karen’s Answer

    Check your court order. Does it have a drop down provision? It should. If it does, like the previous writer said, give the Attorney General proof of graduation from high school to stop the obligation. If it does not have a step down provision, you should hire a lawyer to modify the court order to stop the child support. However, if your children are fully enrolled in a program leading to a high school diploma AND meeting minimum attendance and class requirements, child support is required until they graduate. So if a child has special needs and has not graduated yet, you may still owe support on that child, but you can check with the school to verify compliance with attendance policies and progress towards a diploma. Good luck.

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  • If I pay off my back support principle who gets the interest occurred?

    If I pay off my child support and still have interest to pay who gets that. My ex or the state?

    Karen’s Answer

    The way payments are applied, all payments made go to principal first, then to interest. The law says the State receives its money last (if any money is owed for assigned arrears such as food stamps, or Medicaid) but any interest accrued on that money goes to the parent owed child support. Congratulations on paying off your back support principal.

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  • When modifying child support, do they take into account how much more the obligee makes?

    If my ex and I don't agree on an increase will they take into consideration how much more she makes also? I read in section 154.123 they can take it into account when calculating? I just cant afford to pay more, I'm in future pay, help out with ex...

    Karen’s Answer

    Texas law allows the judge to look at many factors in setting child support. However the guidelines primarily look at the obligor's income. A lawyer can help you effectively argue that a departure from the guidelines is warranted for several reasons -- such as the amount of time each parent spends with the child/ren; helping out with other expenses and more. In my experience some, but not all judges, will consider that. You should consult with a lawyer about your specifics. Good luck.

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  • Will bankruptcy stop the interest on unpaid child support arrears?

    I have been in jail for the third time for non payment of back child support. My son is over 18 and his mother will not forgive the back support. The interest continues to mount up and is more than I owe for unpaid support. Being in jail doesn't m...

    Karen’s Answer

    The interest continues to accrue on the unpaid child support but the collection of it is abated during the bankruptcy. It will not really help you to file bankruptcy. You can get a better payment plan from the Texas Attorney General if you will pay regularly. In all cases your payments go first to principal and then to interest. It feels like you are not making headway but the effective interest rate is really about 3% with the principal first application. You need to make steady monthly payments and you will see a difference on the case. Good luck to you.

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  • Is not paying Court Ordered Medical Reimbursement considered a felony under Texas Penal Code 25.05?

    Temp order states that medical reimbursement should be paid. It never has from the start of the order over a year. In the TX Family Code Medical Reimbursement is covered under child support section. Would non-payment of medical reimbursement be co...

    Karen’s Answer

    Your question shows you live in Bexar County. Unfortunately, our District Attorney's office rarely, if ever, prosecutes unpaid child support cases under the Penal Code and leaves the enforcement to the private attorneys and the Attorney General. If your case is in temporary orders you can hire a private attorney to enforce the past due support if the Attorney General is not moving fast enough. The AG does not represent anyone except the State and it has its hands full with over 1 million cases statewide. There are not a lot of reasons for a case to be in temporary orders over one year (custody litigation being the exception) so you need to push to move this case forward. Good luck.

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  • Can I retroactively recover child support?

    I have a 23 year old son for whom I've never received child support -- never married to his father, who ended up in prison, but is out now. Can I recover any retroactive support?

    Karen’s Answer

    From your question it appears you never got a court order for child support and are now seeking retroactive support. As the other attorneys stated, an action must be filed before the child's 22nd birthday to get retroactive child support. You can establish paternity, but not get any child support.

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  • The father wants to put himself on child support, but i do not want to proceed, can the custodial parent deny child support?

    father wants to file for child support, but i dont want to proceed, can i deny child support? cant we just have our own agreement without having a piece of paper stating how much n when he needs to give to support his child or when he is suppose t...

    Karen’s Answer

    A court order protects both of you. It gives you a fallback for a structure if you do not get along. Child support is a duty to support the child -- not for the parent. So it is appropriate that is is monitored by the court and set by the court . Even the amount, if agreed to by the parties, is subject to approval of the court. If people are not married or are no longer married they subject themselves to court oversight for the benefit of their child. That is how our system has been set up to protect children.

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  • Can I do it myself .can't afford lawyer is it hard to do and is there estimate on how long take . is there any hope in remarria

    I've been separated from my spouse for 30yrs and we have not seen nor spoken within such time period .we had 1 child no shared assets but amdel.on child support payments I'm disabled on disability. I can't afford lawyer fees like to do it myself i...

    Karen’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Leonard. It sounds like this should be an uncontested divorce. If you know where your wife lives or can find her address you can probably do this case simply. Look here on Avvo for a lawyer who does flat fees for uncontested divorces. Save up the money to make the payment. Do as much of the footwork as possible for tracking down your wife to make the lawyer's job easier and it will save you money so you can move forward. Good luck!

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  • What other options are there? When and how can the state just pick this up and run with it? Behind 35k in CS.

    Ex is behind $35k in child support and TXOAG says only outcome if I pursue is jail time with work release. I don't want this because she has another minor child. There's already a set order and everything stating what is to be paid. What other opt...

    Karen’s Answer

    If you have received state assistance for your child like Medicaid or TANF, you assigned the right to collect child support to the state when you applied for benefits. In that case, yes the TXOAG can do whatever they want in collecting child support because they have the right to pursue money owed to the state as well as money owed to you. If there is not money owed to the state, you can terminate the state's assistance (there is a form hidden on their website or you can go to their office and ask for one to convert your case to "registry only" and hire a private attorney to help you with a withholding order. However, in my experience, you won't ever collect what is owed to you without some kind of hammer like jail to help you out. Good luck to you.

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  • Can father avoid extradition & self-surrender to Texas? Can his case be revisited & possibly bond removed & payments reinstated?

    Father attended civil court regarding 15 year child he was not aware but accepted responsibility. He assumed the child was conceived through one night of infidelity from both mother of the child who was in a relationship & alleged father married w...

    Karen’s Answer

    This sounds like a mess. His first mistake was not going back to court. He needs a lawyer who can speak with the Texas judge about recalling the warrant to see if he can self surrender. It is highly unlikely that a Texas court will pay to have him transported from New Mexico -- although the child's mother might do it. The fact he has a wife and 5 other children does not help -- and it's too late to request a DNA test on this child. He needs to just figure out how he is going to pay this case and STOP RUNNING. You can help by finding a lawyer here on AVVO in the county where the case is located who knows the court system and child support very well and is aggressive. Read the answers on these pages and look at their websites. A former assistant Attorney General would be a good choice if available. Good luck.

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