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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I need assistance clearing the amount owed in a Dallas, TX

Customer Question

Hi there, I need assistance clearing the amount owed in a Dallas, TX Child support arrears case. Can you tell me if Texas has jurisdiction on child support arrears when no one involved in the case lives in Texas (ex-wife lived there in 2012, but since moved out of state). Additionally, i was never served to appear in court to dispute the arrears and there is no record of an attempt through the courts (4D Court) to contact me. The Texas OAG has been garnishing my military pension since 2012. Child Support enforcement was allegedly transferred to Texas from Georgia at the request of my ex-wife in 2012. At the time the arrears was just over $70k and at that time I did not have enough evidence to prove payments since Georgia allowed payments directly to the custodial parent (i made some of the payments with check to address)and not all receipts are available. The arrears in now just over $49k(not including interest), I have evidence in the form of Military Leave Earn Statements to show allotment payments in excess of $53k going directly to her bank accounts since 1996. Although, I paid all of the support in accordance to the Georgia Order, I can only prove the $53k. Recently, the Texas OAG increased the monthly withholding from $455.00 to $700.00, needless to say this has caused financial hardship and made obtaining a good lawyer extremely difficult because of retainer requirements. The most recent Writ has a rights and procedures disclosure (giving me the right to dispute amount owed via teleconference or in person), however, I am a little nervous about making such an arrangement without legal representation. Do you know of anyone who could help? What are my options (all things considered)? All of the children in question are grown and no longer live in Texas. What is State of Texas jurisdiction rights? Thank you and additional information can be provided at your request.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Asad Rahman replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Texas acquired jurisdiction and only until the case is changed and transferred to a different state will the new state acquire jurisdiction over the child. The basic law is that a state acquires jurisdiction after 6 months of residency.

I am happy to talk by phone if you like so that all of your questions are answered. We unfortunately cannot take your case for representation but we can guide you towards what your steps need to be. There would be an additional charge for the phone call. I previously worked for the Texas OAG so I am fairly familiar with the processes.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, as your previous contributor has opted out.
Texas retains jurisdiction over the case if the order was entered in the Texas courts, until such time when the Texas court releases jurisdiction. The Texas court may release jurisdiction if they find that none of the parties have connections to the State of Texas any longer AND there is some other state willing to take jurisdiction. Furthermore, the fact another state takes jurisdiction does not absolve you for arrears under the Texas order, since the child support order would have to be adopted for enforcement in the new state and that includes arrears.
Unfortunately, in court, you would have to prove every payment you made in order to get credit for those payments. You would have to prove them through cancelled checks or your bank records showing payments to the custodial parent. Even if you get GA to accept the case in their court upon Texas releasing the case, you still bear the burden of proving every payment to get out of the arrears.
You would need to start this with an attorney in Texas though, since the Texas OAG and court is involved and you are going to need to gather bank records and whatever proof you can of what payments you made to her to get the Texas court to reduce the arrears or to get at least to have the Texas court to agree to transfer jurisdiction to GA.