Do I Need to See a Family Lawyer?

How do you know if it is time to see a family lawyer after your divorce?  Is it the first thing you should do, or should you think about other options also?  What to do and what direction you should go are tough questions after divorce.  How much time has passed since your divorce and the issues that you are having are all important factors to making your decision on setting an appointment with a family lawyer.

Child Support Questions

Child support is set by looking at income for the party paying child support and some basic math and calculations.  The Texas Family Code sets out the percentages for the parent paying child support based on the number of children that parent is required to support.  The number of kids includes any children that the parent may have that aren’t involved in this child support question.

So, because this amount is set by two elements that can change (number of children and income) there may come a time when the child support amount needs to be changed or modified.  If you pay child support and your income has declined or you have had more children, you may need to have your child support modified. If three or more years has passed since child support was first set, you may need to see a family lawyer. And, if you are receiving child support, think about the time that has passed since child support was set and possible signs that income has increased for the parent paying child support. A family law attorney can visit with you about the specifics of your case and the law for child support modification.

Possession Schedules After Divorce

Parenting after divorce, sometimes called co-parenting, is not easy.  Children have a unique way of growing and changing that keeps parents on their toes!  You may find yourself looking at a new issue or considering different options as your children transition from small children to pre-teens and then teenagers and find you have new and different areas to discuss with your ex-spouse.  My suggestion is to try to talk to your ex-spouse first, before you call a lawyer.  You may be surprised and find out that you don’t need to see a lawyer at all.  And, even if you eventually do need to see a lawyer, you will know what you are asking about and what you want to do. A family law attorney can discuss ways to approach a change or issue and options with you based on your unique situation and you will know what you want to talk with the lawyer about when you do need to see a family lawyer.

Communication Issues with your Ex-Spouse

After the divorce is finished, sometimes it gets easier for two parents to talk about their children, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Frankly, lawyers and court orders can’t force two people to be better communicators but there may be other options to try before you need to see a lawyer.  You can try to set up a time to have coffee and talk about your child or children.  You can try an online communication tool that is specific to co-parenting, notices, calendars like Our Family Wizard or 2Houses.  You can even try a calendaring app that works for you that isn’t co-parenting specific.  You definitely want to know if you have just hit a pothole on your journey through this stage of divorced parenting or if you’re driving into a canyon.  And, even if these ideas aren’t successful you will have learned more about the current situation than you knew before.  Then, you will know if you really need to see a family lawyer or not.

You may find that you don’t need a family lawyer, and can work it out.  But, if you do need a family lawyer you will be knowledgeable about your issues and what your ex-spouse’s position is on that issue.

Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454