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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101352
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My wife and I are not legally divorced but separated,can she

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My wife and I are not legally divorced but separated,can she still legally file for child support?And if so do I have to be present at the hearings if not officially summonsed?
If we do divorce I do not mind paying child support but can she abscond with my house whom we acquired while married in Texas, but was given to me as an inheritance?And what other questons do I need to be asking?Thanks.Bruce
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

I am very sorry for your situation.

can she still legally file for child support?

The answer is yes. She can request formal child support regardless of whether or not you are within divorce or simply separation via temporary orders. However, she'd need to serve you with the pleading.

And if so do I have to be present at the hearings if not officially summonsed?

If you are officially summoned, you have to respond and show up in Court, or else you can default. If you default, she can state that you are making a certain amount that you really are not, and then your child support amount would be higher than it would need to be.

If we do divorce I do not mind paying child support but can she abscond with my house whom we acquired while married in Texas, but was given to me as an inheritance?

Under Tex. Fam. Code § 3.001, any inherited property is separate property. So this is yours, and cannot be taken away from you. So no, she cannot get the home unless you allow it.

And what other questons do I need to be asking?

How much is child support? Child support is via a calculated formula. See below for an estimate:

http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/texas/

What about alimony? Alimony is only available if you have been married for 10+ years in Texas. It is not a given, and the following are factors considered by the Court in its decision for granting and how much and how long:

(1) the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including the community and separate property and liabilities apportioned to that spouse in the dissolution proceeding, and that spouse’s ability to meet the spouse’s needs independently;
(2) the education and job skills of the spouses;
(3) the length of the marriage;
(4) the age, employment history, earning ability, and health condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(5) the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is requested to meet that spouse’s personal needs;
(6) the dissipation of any marital assets;
(7) the financial resources of the spouses;
(8) the contribution by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other;
(9) any pre-marital property;
(10) the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
(11) Any marital misconduct of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
(12) the efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling as provided by Chapter 304, Labor Code.

Tex. Fam. Code 8.001 et seq.

Most of all, it is based on need, and Texas does not generally favor alimony unless completely necessary.

Division of marital property is as equal as possible. If you and the ex agree on the terms, then the division, support, and other factors may be signed off on whatever you agree. If not, then the Court will make the decision.

It is also common for parties to agree to 95% of the split, but then ask the Court to make a decision in regards XXXXX XXXXX 5% that cannot be agreed upon.

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