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The Lone Star State has one of the narrowest spousal support laws in the country. Typically, to qualify for alimony in Texas, the marriage must have lasted at least ten years and the obligee (person requesting support) must be unable to earn enough to meet basic needs. Other qualifications, which do not come up very frequently, include the obligee’s incapacitating disability, a family violence conviction within the last two years, and custody of a minor disabled child who requires constant care. Additionally, in all these cases, there is a presumption that the judge must award the absolute minimum amount of…
BY BRAD LaMORGESE International child custody cases are on the rise due to the mobility of couples who either desire to live abroad or who receive international job assignments. The biggest issue in determining custody issues is where the children reside, as that is typically where the custody battle will take place. The front line for these matters has been the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The United States and other countries are signatories, and it is a useful remedy if children have been wrongfully abducted. The main objective of the Hague Convention is to secure the prompt return…
Most cases settle out of court. In fact, the family law settlement rate is more than 90 percent. Frequently, informal discussions result in a settlement. Sometimes, the two sides do not even meet face to face. However, if the sides are far apart on key issues, most Tarrant County judges appoint professional, third-party mediators. These individuals know how to translate agreement on broad principles, like the best interests of the child, to agreement on specific issues, like a weekly time-sharing division. Even if a judge appoints a mediator, a Fort Worth divorce mediation attorney is still an important part…
12 partners recognized for work in Family Law, Appellate, Arbitration and Mediation   DALLAS – The publishers of the Best Lawyers in America have honored 12 attorneys from Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson (ONDA) in its 2022 edition.   One of the oldest and most prestigious national peer review guides of lawyers in the nation, the annual listing recognizes partners Richard OrsingerKeith NelsonScott DowningJeff Anderson, and Brad M. LaMorgese for the representation of clients in their Family Law practice. Mr. Orsinger and Mr. LaMorgese are also honored for their work in Appellate cases, and Mr. Anderson for…
On July 15, 2021, the law in this area changes substantially. However, these changes only affect the method of child tax credit payment. Parents may now claim some child tax credit money in advance. The new IRS rules do not affect the basic eligibility requirements, which are mostly contained in Form 8332. More on that below. The child tax credit is an important component of a financial divorce settlement, so child custody lawyers in Dallas must fully account for it. If the children are small at the time of divorce, the child tax credit could amount to tens of…
Jacob Cole Jeffries joins nationally recognized Texas-based Family Law firm  DALLAS – Family Law firm Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson (ONDA) is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Jacob Cole Jeffries to the Frisco office.  Mr. Jeffries comes to ONDA with experience in civil and family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, property division and appellate disputes. He also handles interstate jurisdiction cases and unique family law cases.  “Jacob’s substantial expertise will bolster our Frisco team,” said ONDA managing partner Brad LaMorgese. “We know our clients will appreciate him and his ability to find positive solutions even as they are struggling with stressful situations.”   Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Jeffries has been recognized by his peers, earning a spot…
A child custody agreement in Texas is not necessarily permanent. Life brings changes. Until the child becomes a lawful adult, custody & visitation are always subject to substantial revision. That being said, Texas courts are not interested in simply re-litigating the same custody cases over and over again. A custody order/agreement will only be modified when a good cause can be shown. In this article, our Fort Worth child custody lawyers explain the reasons why a judge will change custody in Texas. The Three Main Reasons a Texas Court Will Modify Child Custody 1. Voluntary Relinquishment of Rights The first…
Changes to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure now allow parties to serve divorce papers through social media. In a recent article for Texas Lawyer, ONDA managing partner Brad LaMorgese and attorney Meghan Burns discuss the ways in which these new rules make things more convenient for couples headed for divorce and those who represent them, as well as the many pitfalls attorneys must watch out for as they seek to give an individual notice of a suit.  “…as with all rules, there will be people who are malicious enough to work the system by creating a social media page…
When you are anticipating you or your spouse will soon file for divorce in Texas, or if you are in the early stages of the divorce process in the Dallas area, you may have questions about spousal support, which is also known as alimony or maintenance. When it comes to the amount of spousal support you might expect to pay or receive, you may be wondering: How is spousal support calculated in Texas? The following information can help you to understand how a court decides the amount of maintenance to award in a divorce case. Determining Eligibility for Maintenance or…
DALLAS – Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson is pleased to announce that attorney John Kappel has become Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.    Mr. Kappel is the firm’s 14th attorney to receive such a distinction, which is earned by less than 1 percent of eligible Texas attorneys. To earn certification, attorneys receive a concentration of continuing legal education and must complete an exam, among other qualifications.    “Passing the exam to become board certified is a significant milestone,” said firm Managing Partner Brad LaMorgese. “We are especially proud of John’s achievement and the level of commitment he provides to his Family Law clients.”    Mr. Kappel joined ONDA in 2019 with a practice…