man giving alimony to his ex-family at homeDivorce is seldom easy; it comes with a slew of challenges, both emotional and financial. For many, the path to financial stability after the separation becomes uncertain. To assist parties in weathering this financial storm, Texas law allows for temporary spousal support. This blog aims to explain what temporary spousal support in Texas is, its implications, and why you should seek legal guidance from Chip Parker Law Firm.

What is Temporary Spousal Support?

Temporary spousal support is financial assistance that one spouse pays to the other during the divorce process. Temporary support aims to maintain the financial status quo while the legal proceedings are underway.

According to Texas Family Code § 8.001, a court can order temporary spousal support if one party has insufficient means for self-support and the other has the ability to pay.

Criteria for Temporary Spousal Support

Qualifying for temporary spousal support in Texas is not automatic; it involves a comprehensive review by the court. Several criteria come into play when determining eligibility for such support. Below is a list of key factors, each accompanied by an explanation:

  1. Financial Resources of Both Spouses

The court will evaluate the financial situation of both parties. This includes income, assets, and debts. The aim is to determine if one spouse genuinely lacks the means for self-support and if the other spouse has the capacity to assist financially.

  1. Duration of the Marriage

The length of the marriage can significantly influence the court’s decision. Generally, longer marriages may make a stronger case for temporary spousal support, especially if one spouse has been financially dependent for an extended period.

  1. Employment Skills and Employability

The court will consider whether the spouse seeking support has the necessary skills or qualifications to find employment that can sustain them. If not, the court might grant temporary support to allow time for job training or education.

  1. Contributions as a Homemaker

If one spouse has been a homemaker and has therefore not been part of the workforce for a significant time, the court may consider this as a factor for awarding temporary spousal support. This is particularly relevant in cases where one spouse sacrificed career opportunities to care for the home or children.

  1. Physical and Emotional Condition

If a spouse has health issues or emotional conditions that make it challenging to secure immediate employment, this can also weigh into the court’s decision.

  1. History of Domestic Violence

Per Texas Family Code § 8.051(2)(C), a history of family violence could make it more likely for the victim spouse to receive temporary spousal support, as the court recognizes the additional hardships faced in such cases.

  1. Efforts to Seek Employment or Vocational Training

The court may also look into the efforts being made by the spouse seeking support to gain employment or vocational skills. Lack of effort in this area could potentially weaken their case for temporary support.

By carefully evaluating these factors, the court aims to ensure that the award of temporary spousal support is both fair and necessary. Given the complexity and the significant impact of this financial arrangement, consulting with attorneys in Amarillo, Texas, can provide crucial legal guidance.

How to Qualify for Temporary Spousal Support

To qualify for temporary spousal support, you must file a motion with the court. In your motion, you must explain why you need financial assistance and why the other spouse should be required to pay it. You will also need to provide evidence to support your claims, such as financial statements and income tax returns.

How to Get Temporary Spousal Support

If you are granted temporary spousal support, the court will issue an order that specifies the amount and duration of the payments. The order will also specify how the payments are to be made. If the other spouse fails to pay temporary spousal support, you can enforce the court order through a variety of means, such as wage garnishment and liens on property.

When to Consult an Amarillo Divorce Attorney

Temporary spousal support is not just a financial arrangement; it’s a lifeline that helps a transitioning spouse maintain dignity and security during one of life’s most challenging moments. However, navigating the complexities of this legal provision requires adept handling and an in-depth understanding of Texas Family Laws.

Don’t navigate this complicated path alone. If you’re going through a divorce in Amarillo, or even just contemplating it, Chip Parker Law Firm offers you the legal guidance to make informed decisions and safeguard your interests. Our lawyers in Amarillo, Texas, are committed to providing you with personalized, effective solutions tailored to your unique situation.

Take the next step. Secure your financial future by reaching out to a divorce attorney in Amarillo, TX today. You owe it to yourself to move forward with confidence and peace of mind.

male judge writing on paper in courtroomYou’ve just gone through a taxing family court case, whether it involves child custody or property division. You breathe a sigh of relief as the court issues its final orders. However, soon enough, you find that the other party is not abiding by those court orders. What do you do next? In Texas, you primarily have two legal recourses at your disposal: Motion to Enforce and Motion for Contempt. Understanding the nuances between these two can make a world of difference when you’re looking to secure your rights and the court’s mandate.

What is a Motion to Enforce?

A motion to enforce is used when one party to a court order fails to comply with its terms. For example, if your ex-spouse is ordered to pay child support but fails to do so, you can file a motion to enforce to compel them to comply.

A motion to enforce is a civil proceeding, and its purpose is to obtain compliance with the court order, not to punish the non-compliant party. If the court finds that the other party has violated the court order, it can order them to take various steps to comply, such as paying child support, returning property, or allowing visitation.

How is it Different from Motion for Contempt?

A motion for contempt is used when one party to a court order willfully and intentionally disobeys the court’s orders. For example, if your ex-spouse is ordered to allow you to have visitation with your children but refuses to do so, you can file a motion for contempt.

A motion for contempt is a criminal proceeding, and its purpose is to punish the non-compliant party for disobeying the court’s orders. If the court finds that the other party is in contempt, it can impose a variety of penalties, including fines, jail time, and attorney’s fees.

The Procedural Aspects

Before you decide between the two, it’s important to consult attorneys in Amarillo, Texas to understand the procedural aspects involved.

Motion to Enforce

Motion for Contempt

Factors to Consider

In deciding whether to file a motion to enforce or a motion for contempt, the court will consider a number of factors, including:

The Nature of the Violation

The first factor the court considers is what the violation entails. If the issue is minor or could be seen as a simple misunderstanding, the court may lean towards a Motion to Enforce. However, for severe or ongoing violations, a Motion for Contempt may be more appropriate.

Willfulness and Intentionality

The court will look into whether the non-compliant party willfully and intentionally violated the court order. Mere negligence or unintentional actions might not warrant a Motion for Contempt but could still be addressed through a Motion to Enforce.

History of Compliance

A party’s history of compliance or non-compliance with court orders will also be evaluated. If this is the first instance of non-compliance, the court may be more lenient. On the other hand, repeated violations could result in the court leaning towards more punitive measures like a Motion for Contempt.

Impact on the Other Party and Their Children

Lastly, the court will consider how the violation has impacted the lives of the affected party and, if applicable, their children. In matters of child support, custody, or visitation, the well-being of the child is often paramount. If a violation has had a severe detrimental impact, a Motion for Contempt, which could include penalties or jail time, may be more likely.

Choose Chip Parker Law Firm

The labyrinth of family law can be overwhelming, especially when court orders are not followed as they should be. Whether to file a Motion to Enforce or a Motion for Contempt depends on your ultimate objective—do you want to compel compliance, or are you looking for punitive action? Either way, reaching out to a family law attorney is indispensable.

At Chip Parker Law Firm, we focus in guiding clients through these complex choices–ensuring that their rights are upheld. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step toward resolving your legal troubles.

successful female prosecutor presenting the caseImagine a world where you and your ex-partner disagree on child custody in Texas. It’s a heartbreaking situation, and you’re determined to do whatever it takes to protect your child’s best interests.

Jury Trial in Texas

A jury trial involves a group of randomly selected citizens who listen to evidence presented by both parties and then make decisions based on the law. In Texas, Family Code §105.002 permits a jury to decide issues of child custody, which is an option rarely found in other jurisdictions.

However, it’s essential to understand that a jury’s role is somewhat limited. According to Texas Family Code §105.002(c), a jury cannot decide issues related to child support, visitation, or the termination of parental rights. Those matters are reserved for a judge’s ruling.

So, what can a jury decide in a child custody case? In a child custody case, a jury can decide:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Jury Trials in Child Custody Cases

There are several benefits to requesting a jury trial for child custody, including:

Democratic Process: A jury trial allows a cross-section of the community to participate in the legal process, which can result in a more democratic and representative decision.

Multiple Perspectives: With several jurors, you get the benefit of multiple viewpoints, which can reduce the impact of personal biases that a single judge might bring into the decision-making process.

Potential for Empathy: Jurors may bring a more emotional or compassionate perspective, which can sometimes work in favor of parents who may not have the law entirely on their side but have a compelling story.

There are also a few drawbacks to requesting a jury trial for child custody, including:

Unpredictability: The jury’s decision is inherently less predictable than that of a single judge who has experience in family law. This could be risky in sensitive matters like child custody.

Cost and Time: Jury trials are usually more expensive and time-consuming than bench trials. The longer trial process increases legal fees and can prolong the emotional stress on the family.

Limited Scope: In states like Texas, a jury can decide on conservatorship (custody) but cannot rule on matters like child support, visitation, or termination of parental rights, which are left to a judge’s discretion.

Choosing whether to opt for a jury trial in a child custody case is a decision that should be made carefully, considering both the advantages and disadvantages. Consulting a competent family law attorney can provide invaluable guidance in making this crucial decision.

How Does It Work?

To request a jury trial for a child custody case in Texas, you must first file a formal written request, often known as a “demand for a jury trial,” with the court where your case is pending. This must be done in accordance with the deadlines and rules set forth by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and local court rules, typically at least 30 days before the trial date.

Alongside the request, you’ll also need to pay a jury fee, the amount of which varies depending on the jurisdiction. It’s crucial to adhere to all procedural requirements, as failure to do so could result in your request being denied.

Why Choose Chip Parker Law Firm?

Choosing to go for a jury trial in a child custody case in Texas is not a decision to be taken lightly. It involves numerous considerations, from costs to emotional investments. However, it also presents an opportunity for a more balanced judgment, potentially eliminating any biases inherent in a single-judge system.

If you find yourself facing this complicated crossroad, don’t traverse it alone. The Chip Parker Law Firm in Amarillo is here to guide you through every twist and turn of family law. Our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of child custody jury trials, and we are committed to advocating for the best interests of you and your child.

Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step in securing your family’s future.

documents about termination of parental rights in a court (2)Terminating parental rights in Texas is a challenging and emotionally charged process that involves permanently severing the legal relationship between a parent and child.

This decision is not taken lightly and comes with far-reaching implications for everyone involved. Given its complexity, legal guidance is crucial, and Chip Parker Law Firm can help you navigate this convoluted process.

Understanding the Reasons for Termination

In legal terms, “terminate parental rights” refers to the legal process in which a court permanently severs all legal rights and responsibilities of a parent toward their child. This can include the termination of the parent’s rights to custody, visitation, and even the obligation for child support.

Once parental rights have been terminated, the parent no longer has any legal claim to the child, and the child may be adopted without the parent’s consent. The process is usually irreversible and is considered to be one of the most drastic actions a court can take in family law matters.

According to the Texas Family Code § 161, parental rights can be terminated on several grounds including, but not limited to…

Abuse or Neglect

In Texas, “abuse” means causing physical, emotional, or sexual harm to a child. “Neglect” is failing to provide basic needs like food, shelter, or medical care. Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates these issues and may seek to terminate parental rights if the child is at risk.


Abandonment in Texas occurs when a parent leaves a child in unsafe conditions and shows no intent to return. This can lead to termination of parental rights.

Parental Incarceration

Long-term imprisonment of a parent, especially for violent crimes, can be grounds for terminating parental rights in Texas.

Each of these terms carries significant weight in Texas law and can lead to the permanent severing of the parent-child relationship. Legal guidance is crucial in these complex matters.

Legal Requirements

In the state of Texas, the termination of parental rights is a serious legal procedure guided by specific requirements. A court must find that there is “clear and convincing evidence” to justify the termination. This legal standard is higher than a simple preponderance of the evidence but lower than the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Additionally, the court must determine that the termination is in the “best interests of the child,” a principle governed by various factors such as the child’s physical and emotional needs, the parenting abilities of the individuals seeking custody, and any existing or future danger to the child.

Voluntary Surrender of Parental Rights

This can be confusing, but no one is ever allowed to just terminate their own rights, or give their parental rights to someone else. Parental rights can only be terminated by a Court order, and only if the Judge believes it is in the child’s best interests.

Courts will not grant a termination of parental rights unless there is just no other real option. Other steps can be taken when necessary such as no child contact with an abusive parent.

Once completed, the affidavit must be filed with the relevant Texas court. A judge will then review the document and must approve it for the process to proceed. The court also evaluates whether relinquishing rights serves the child’s best interests.

How to File a Petition

Here are the steps involved in terminating parental rights in Texas:

Why Professional Guidance from Chip Parker Law Firm is Essential

Terminating parental rights is a complex and difficult legal process that requires a robust understanding of Texas family law. The ramifications are profound and life-altering for both the parent and the child involved. However, sometimes it is the most suitable choice for the safety and well-being of the child.

If you find yourself at this juncture, legal assistance is imperative. Chip Parker Law Firm can help you through every step of this daunting process. With a range of services, we aim to simplify the complexity of family law issues for you.

Considering the severity and the intricacies involved in terminating parental rights, don’t go it alone. Contact Chip Parker Law Firm to schedule a consultation and ensure that your case is handled with the utmost professionalism and care.

sad wife looking at her ring after fight with husbandDivorce is a challenging emotional and legal ordeal, one that upends lives and generates uncertainty. Yet, in the labyrinth of legal procedures, Texas has its unique set of laws that govern the dissolution of marriage. When facing a divorce in Texas, it is vital to acquaint yourself with these laws and secure the counsel of a trusted law firm, Chip Parker Law Firm.

Understanding Texas Divorce Laws

Texas divorce laws are governed by the Texas Family Code, which outlines two primary categories for divorce: fault-based and no-fault.

No-Fault Divorce

In a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to prove that the other spouse did something wrong leading to the end of their marriage. Under Texas Family Code Section 6.001, a no-fault divorce is usually granted on grounds of “insupportability,” meaning that the marriage cannot continue due to discord or conflict of personalities.

Fault-Based Divorce

In contrast, a fault-based divorce places the blame for the marriage’s dissolution on one spouse. Texas Family Code Section 6.002-6.007 outlines specific grounds for a fault-based divorce, which include cruelty, adultery, abandonment, felony conviction, living apart for at least three years, and confinement in a mental hospital.

Importantly, establishing fault can have significant implications for asset division. For instance, under Texas Family Code Section 7.001, the court may consider fault when distributing community property in a manner that the court deems “just and right.”

The impact of a fault-based divorce can extend to spousal maintenance as well. According to Texas Family Code Section 8.052, factors like marital misconduct may affect whether spousal maintenance is granted, as well as the duration and amount.

How to File for Divorce in Texas

Filing for divorce in Texas involves multiple steps, each with its own set of procedures and paperwork. Understanding this process can make what is often a challenging life event a bit more manageable. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

Step 1: Establish Residency

Before you can file for divorce in Texas, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for at least 90 days.

Step 2: Decide the Type of Divorce

Determine whether you’ll be filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce. This decision can have implications for asset division, and other settlement terms.

Step 3: Consult with an Attorney

Consulting with an attorney from Chip Parker Law Firm can provide you with guidance tailored to your unique circumstances. Legal advice is particularly crucial in complex situations involving large assets or child custody disputes.

Step 4: File the Petition

The next step is to file a “Petition for Divorce” with the district clerk in the county where you meet the residency requirements.

Step 5: Serve Papers to Spouse

After filing, you must serve divorce papers to your spouse. This service of process ensures that your spouse is aware of the divorce proceedings and has the opportunity to respond.

Step 6: Spouse’s Response

Your spouse has a specific period, usually 20 to 30 days, to file an “Answer” to your petition. If your spouse fails to respond within this period, you may be eligible to proceed with a default divorce.

Step 7: Temporary Orders (If Needed)

If immediate decisions about child custody, property, or financial support are needed, you can request temporary orders. These orders remain in effect until the divorce is finalized.

Step 8: Discovery Process

Both parties may engage in a discovery process to exchange information and documents relevant to the divorce. This can include financial records, property inventories, and more.

Step 9: Settlement or Trial

If you and your spouse agree on the terms, you can finalize the divorce by submitting a “Final Decree of Divorce” to the court. If not, the case will go to trial, where a judge will make the final determinations.

Step 10: Finalizing the Divorce

After the judge signs the final decree, your divorce is official. You’ll need to wait at least 30 days to remarry, per Texas law.

Consulting with Chip Parker Law Firm

Navigating through divorce is never easy; it’s a complex journey laden with emotional strain and legal intricacies. However, understanding Texas divorce laws and seeking the assistance of reliable attorneys in Amarillo, Texas can greatly ease this challenging process. Your divorce doesn’t have to become a long, drawn-out battle. With proper legal guidance, you can traverse this difficult period in a manner that safeguards your interests and future.

If you’re facing divorce, don’t navigate these choppy waters alone. Consult with Chip Parker Law Firm. Take action now to secure your future and peace of mind.

the couple consulting a lawyer about agreement on the divorceDivorce is a life-changing event, and it’s important to be prepared when meeting with your divorce attorney. By taking the time to gather the necessary information and documents, and by thinking about your goals and priorities, you can make the most of your meeting and get the best possible outcome for your case.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a meeting with your divorce attorney:

Step 1: Collect All Necessary Documents

The first step in preparing for your consultation is to gather all relevant documents. Your attorney needs a comprehensive overview of your marital and financial situation to offer the most effective advice. Essential documents may include bank statements, property deeds, retirement accounts, and any prenuptial agreements that exist. Having your documents ready will help your attorney to get on the right track for you.

Step 2: Make a List of Your Questions and Concerns

Prior to your consultation, take some time to jot down the questions that are most pertinent to your situation. By preparing a thorough list, you can ensure that you don’t overlook important aspects that need to be discussed during the meeting. Your questions might include:

Having these questions at the ready will not only help you stay focused during the meeting, but it will also ensure that you cover all critical aspects that could impact your divorce proceedings.

Step 3: Gather Your Financial Documents

This involves collecting pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, and investment statements. These documents will be necessary for your attorney to have in preparing for a division of property.

Step 4: Be Prepared to Discuss Your Children

If children are involved, their welfare is the number one priority above all else. Prepare to talk about parenting schedules, financial commitments to the children, and any other information that might be relevant to custody and support issues.

Step 5: Be Honest and Upfront with Your Attorney

Complete honesty with your attorney is always the best practice. Hiding things from your attorney because you are afraid it will hurt your divorce will be ten times worse than just telling your lawyer from the beginning. I promise nothing is worse that your lawyer being surprised in the middle of trial about something that could have been prevented or dealt with earlier.

Step 6: Discuss Timeline and Costs

A divorce timeline can vary widely depending on various factors. Talk openly about your expected timeline and understand the legal fees involved. This will help you budget and set realistic expectations for the process.

Step 7: Know Your Budget and Goals for Legal Service

Clarify your budget limitations and the range of legal services you require. This helps your attorney tailor their services more effectively to your situation.

Additional Tips for a Productive Consultation

Here are some additional tips:

Do Your Research. Knowledge is empowering. The more you know about the divorce process and your rights as a spouse, the better equipped you’ll be to ask relevant questions and make informed decisions. Websites, books, and preliminary discussions with lawyers in Amarillo, TX, can provide useful information to get you started.

Be Prepared to Compromise. Divorce is often a series of negotiations, and it’s unlikely you’ll get everything you want. Being willing to compromise is essential for reaching an amicable settlement. It’s a give-and-take process, and having a flexible mindset can help facilitate a smoother divorce procedure.

Trust Your Attorney. The relationship between a client and their attorney should be built on trust. Your attorney is there to represent your best interests and navigate the legal complexities on your behalf. Trusting their advice and guidance is crucial for achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Take the First Step Towards a Secure Future with Chip Parker Law Firm

Divorce is an emotionally and legally challenging process, but with the right preparation, you can make your initial consultation with your attorney more effective and less stressful. If you’re in Amarillo and are seeking competent and compassionate legal representation, Chip Parker Law Firm is here to guide you through the complexities of Texas divorce law.

Take charge of your future today by consulting with the dedicated team at Chip Parker Law Firm. Contact us today.

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Time is of the essence. The sooner you act, the more legal options can work for you. Call us now at (806) 379-2010, or fill-up the form below.