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Tessmer Tips / 20.08.2015

In Texas, both child support and spousal support awards may not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances. The normal Texas child support guidelines, worksheets and schedules are used to determine the proper amount of child support to be paid, but because military paychecks are unlike any other paychecks, it can be challenging to determine what a servicemember’s actual pay is. Start with the servicemember’s base salary. There is also a housing allowance, calculated using location, family commitments, and the servicemember’s pay grade. There are also pay differentials for hazardous assignments and other variations in responsibilities. It is...

Tessmer Tips / 19.08.2015

If you are in the military, the SCRA is your friend: it can prevent a judge from issuing court orders that could affect your relationship with your children. If you are the non-military spouse, you may feel upset by the delays, because the law gives servicemembers extra time to respond to legal proceedings and allows them to request hearings be postponed until the servicemember can be there. The entire divorce case may be delayed, causing it to take a lot longer to get to the final judgment. That said, there are often issues related to children that need to be...

Tessmer Tips / 18.08.2015

There are laws that protect an active duty soldier from being held in “default” for failing to respond to a divorce action. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), divorce proceedings may be postponed for the entire time an active duty servicemember is on duty and for up to 90 days thereafter.  An active duty spouse must be personally served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action in order for a Texas court to have jurisdiction.  In the case a divorce is uncontested, the active duty spouse may not have to be served if he or she...

Tessmer Tips / 16.08.2015

Family law matters concerning a member of the military create several unique issues compared to the typical civilian cases, as specific state and federal laws will apply. When one spouse (or both) are serving in the armed forces, a divorce is more complicated and there are different rules concerning jurisdiction, child custody, and health insurance and retirement benefits.  Servicemembers and civilian spouses should take the time to learn about the special issues involved in military family law matters and should seek an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable on the subject.   If you are one of the nearly 1.1 million active...

Tessmer Tips / 14.08.2015

The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against families with children. The landlord must rent to anyone, regardless of whether they are married, single, or have children. The only restrictions that may be placed are those that apply to everyone. For example, the number of occupants per unit may be limited. The major exception to this law is complexes intended for seniors. If a complex has 80% or more units occupied by at least one person over age 55, it is not required to accept children.   Unfortunately, disputes between landlords and their tenants are fairly common.  If you find...

Tessmer Tips / 13.08.2015

A Texas landlord has the right to enter a tenant’s dwelling during emergencies, when conducting inspections and when making repairs. A landlord can specify other times when it is appropriate to enter a dwelling; however, the lease agreement must specify these times and the tenant must have signed the agreement. During an eviction, a landlord can enter the dwelling and remove the tenant’s possessions only after a judge has ruled for the tenant to leave the property, the tenant doesn't appeal the case within five days and the time line to vacate—seven days—has passed.   When Texas landlords feel that their life...