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December 2013 Archives

Non-married couples should plan ahead to protect assets

Plano residents who are living with their partner, but are not currently married, may be wondering what happens to joint property in the event of a split. Splitting with a partner is often painful, regardless of whether the couple is married or not. However, as painful as divorce may be, it at least offers a fairly defined path to splitting assets. Couples who live together without being married are often left in a murky situation.

Parents relinquish custody so ill children will receive care

Families challenged by children with mental illness may be interested in a trend occurring in Texas, Illinois and other states. Known as a psychiatric "lockout," it is the practice of parents who refuse to allow a child to return home or to make living provision for them when they are discharged from a mental health facility. Believing that their children will receive needed mental health care in state custody that they are financially unable to provide, parents relinquish custody of the child.

New focus on parental kidnapping overseas

Parents in Texas and across the nation may be getting help with foreign custody battles if a new bill passes. Between 2008 and 2013, the federal government reported that 7,000 American children were abducted by one of their parents and taken overseas. The parents that remained in the U.S. battled for custody or visitation rights in countries where U.S. laws don't apply and an international treaty has been ignored. Most children never come back. Parents are often frustrated from trying to work with other nations and the U.S. State Department. Some in Congress want more attention placed on the problem of international child custody battles.

Texas parents arrested for not paying child support

Texas officials want residents of the state to know if they do not meet their financial obligations to their children, they could go to jail. That message was received loudly and clearly by more than 150 parents in five South Texas counties who recently were arrested for failing to pay child support. The sheriff of Cameron County, where 38 of the delinquent parents reside, called the week-long operation 'very successful." Those arrested in the crackdown now face up to six months behind bars. Any cash bonds posted on behalf of the arrested parents will be paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back support.

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