The court may change your orders to divide the increased costs fairly. Usually, the court orders the person who moved to pay the extra expenses. The court must believe any changes to the orders are best for the children.
Texas Law Help Question & Answer Bank
Not unless the court orders that you can stop paying child support. You may have the option of asking the court to terminate the parent-child relationship between you and the child if you find out you’re not the genetic father and you meet certain other requirements. This would end your obligation to pay future child support, but not your obligation to pay child support you already owe.
The law specifically says that a conviction or order of deferred adjudication for family violence is a material and substantial change in circumstances that will justify a modification of custody or visitation.
Family violence may also be a material and substantial change in circumstances even if the other parent has never been arrested or convicted. If family violence has occurred, you can ask a judge to make a new order for custody and/or visitation that protects the safety and well-being of you and your children.
If you need help, call one of the organizations listed below for more information:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) - or -
- Advocates for Victims of Crime (AVOICE) at 1-888-343-4414 - or -
- Family Violence Legal Line at 1-800-374-HOPE (4673)
The law specifically says that a conviction or order of deferred adjudication for an offense involving abuse of a child is a material and substantial change in circumstances that will justify a modification.
Child abuse can also be a material and substantial change in circumstances even if the Respondent has never been arrested or convicted. If child abuse has occurred, you can ask a judge to make a new order for custody and/or visitation that protects the safety and well-being of your child.
If you need help, call one of the organizations listed below for more information:
- National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) - or -
- Advocates for Victims of Crime (AVOICE): at 1-888-343-4414 - or -
- Family Violence Legal Line at 1-800-374-HOPE (4673)
The law does not specifically say what else qualifies as a “material and substantial change in circumstance.” However, there are many court decisions that talk about this.
An experienced family law lawyer can help you determine whether or not a judge is likely to find that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances in your particular situation. The lawyer can also help you determine what type of evidence you will need to prove your allegations. It’s possible to hire a lawyer just to give you legal advice, this is called limited scope representation. You can use the Legal Help Finder tool to search for a lawyer, free legal aid program or self-help center in your area.
Unless you meet certain legal requirements, you must wait at least a year before going back to court to change primary custody of a child. Learn more here: Child Custody Modification within a Year of Current Order.
Unless the parents (and anyone else named as a conservator) agree, the court can’t permanently change custody just because a military parent has been deployed. However, either parent can ask the court for temporary orders that temporarily change custody during the deployment.
In this case, the court’s first choice for temporary custody must be the other parent. If living with the other parent would not be in the child’s best interest, the court’s second choice must be a person designated by the military parent. The court’s third choice would be a person chosen by the court.
The court may also make temporary changes to child support and visitation. For example, the court may temporarily change who pays child support. Or the military parent may ask the court to allow a designated person, such as a grandparent or step-parent, to visit the child while the military parent is deployed.
When the military deployment ends, the temporary orders end. Custody returns to the military parent and the original child support and visitation orders resume.
If the parent with visitation rights is deployed, he or she may ask the court to make temporary orders to allow someone (such as a grandparent or step-parent) to take the military parent’s visitation with the child while the military parent is gone.
If the parent with visitation rights is deployed, he or she also has the right to ask the court to award make-up visits. This must be done within 90 days of the date the parent’s deployment ends. Read Texas Family Code Section 153.709.
Service connected disability is a cash benefit for veterans with a disability that is related to their military service. The disability does not need to be so severe that it prevents the veteran from working.
The FAQ section of this toolkit will help you determine if you satisfy the definition of a "veteran"; if your disability is service connected; and how to apply for this benefit.
The Helpful Links section contains other resources to help you gather evidence for your claim and find more information on specific disabilities.
VA Pension is a cash benefit paid to wartime veterans who are over age 65, totally disabled, in a nursing home, or receiving social security benefits. The FAQ section will help you determine if you served in a statutory period of war, and if you are financially eligible for VA Pension.
- If your claim was previously denied, carefully review the VA denial letter. This letter may contain information on why your claim was denied.
- Request your personnel file using a SF180 if you believe the following exist (these would all be in your personnel file):
- In-service treatment of your disability (except in-patient records, which should be requested from the medical facility at which you were treated)
- Special orders that accommodate your disability
- Entry or exit medical exams that reflect your disability
- Records of service that is presumed to be connected to a disability, such as service in an Agent Orange area
- Records of exposure to environmental hazards, such as asbestos or loud noises.
Non-service connected disability pension is a needs-based program for veterans with wartime service who are permanently and totally disabled, or over age 65. Non-service connected pension is also known as "VA pension" or "widower’s pension."
A service-connected disability is an injury or illness that occurred while you were on active duty. In some circumstances, it may be an injury or illness that you already had that was aggravated while you were on active duty. The injury or illness must happen in the line of duty.
The Department of Veterans Affairs may pay a portion of a veteran’s service-connected disability compensation, or non-service-connected disability pension, directly to the veteran’s dependents. This practice is called "apportionment of veterans' benefits."
Undocumented children in the United States have the same rights as any other child to a primary and secondary education. Plyler vs. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). Parents or guardians should follow state education laws about minors' education. In Texas, unless your child falls into a specific exception, the state requires children between the ages of six and 18 to attend school. Tex. Educ. Code § 25.085.
No. Anyone in the United States, whether undocumented or not, may attend colleges and universities. Speak to an admissions officer first to determine what specific steps you need to take to apply and enroll, as well as whether you qualify for state and federal financial aid.
Yes. Only people with certain statuses in the United States may receive FEDERAL financial aid for higher education. People eligible to receive federal student financial aid include:
- U.S. citizens
- Permanent residents (green card holders)
- People that have an Arrival-Departure document (I-94) with these statuses:
- Asylum granted
- Cuban-Haitian entrant (status pending)
- Conditional entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
- Those with a battered or crime victim immigrant status (U visa and/or VAWA deferred action status) and their children
- T visa holder
For more information check: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/non-us-citizens
Some states and universities have dedicated funds for undocumented students. Texas does allow eligible undocumented students to receive state aid. To qualify for state aid, students must submit the Texas Application for Financial Aid, and prove they are Texas residents.
Higher education institutions also offer financial aid in the form of merit-based academic scholarships. Some schools participate in programs that award need-based grants and scholarships. Contact your academic institution for more information.
It depends on the state where you go to college. The Texas Dream Act of 2001 provides in-state tuition at Texas colleges and universities for undocumented students if they meet certain requirements:
- Graduated from a Texas high school, or earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED) in Texas.
- Lived in Texas for three years before enrolling in a Texas higher education institution.
- Signed an affidavit (sworn statement) saying that they will seek legal residency as soon as possible.
Currently, undocumented students may apply to receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) if they meet the requirements. To be eligible for DACA, applicants must:
- Have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 (the date DACA was announced);
- Have had no lawful status as of June 15, 2012;
- Have been under age 30 as of June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school; have graduated high school or completed a GED; or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
- Have not been convicted of a felony, one significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanor offenses that do not arise from a single event or misconduct;
- Not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
For more information about the requirements to qualify for DACA, see https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
Note: The current President signaled that he might end DACA, but has not said what action—if any—he plans to take against DACA applicants and recipients. However, most immigrant rights groups agree that first-time DACA applicants should wait to file their applications until there is more information about the President’s plans. People renewing their deferred action status can still apply—but they might lose their filing fees if the program ends. All DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals should pay close attention to the news (or talk to an immigration lawyer) for the most up-to-date information.
The answer to this question is unclear. The current President signaled that he might end DACA, but has not said what action—if any—he plans to take against DACA applicants and recipients. However, most immigrant rights groups agree that first-time DACA applicants should wait to file their applications until there is more information about the President’s plans. People renewing their deferred action status can still apply—but they might lose their filing fees if the program ends. All DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals should pay close attention to the news (or talk to an immigration lawyer) for the most up-to-date information.
DACA is not a permanent immigration status, and does not offer a path to citizenship. However, students who are granted deferred action status under DACA get certain benefits, including:
- Temporary protection from deportation, which can be renewed every two years*
- Permission to work legally in the U.S.
- The ability to obtain a social security card and state ID or driver’s license
* Note that the current DACA programs can change and even cease to exist at the president's discretion. Be mindful of changes implemented by the new administration in early 2017.
No. DACA does not give you legal status. DACA recipients should not leave the U.S. unless they are granted an exception known as advance parole.
Advance parole is given for academic, work, and/or humanitarian purposes, and evidence must be submitted before you leave the country. Talk to an immigration attorney for more information and to see if you qualify for Advance Parole.
DACA recipients may apply to receive advance parole in order to be readmitted into the U.S. But, advance parole must be granted before you leave the U.S., and is only valid through its expiration. There are many potential risks DACA students may encounter if they study abroad and try to get readmitted into the U.S.
Your DACA status is only valid for two years.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends you renew your DACA status 120 to 150 days before the expiration date on your DACA approval notice and/or Employment Authorization Card. Renewing during this timeframe increases your chances of having your DACA status renewed before your deferred action status expires. To renew, applicants must submit a new set of forms and pay a fee. Failure to renew your DACA will leave you without legal status once your DACA expires. Talk to an immigration attorney to help you renew your deferred action status.
Don’t fall prey to notarios. They make a lot of promises, but cannot deliver. It is best to work with a licensed immigration attorney. If you need help filing your DACA application, but you have limited financial resources, contact legal nonprofits in your area that may be able to provide low-cost legal services.
Don’t file documents on your own if you are unsure if you’re eligible for DACA . If you are not sure about your eligibility (for example, maybe you have past criminal convictions), talk to an immigration attorney, who will be able to help you determine if you are eligible for DACA .
DACA status is only valid for two years. You must renew it, or you lose your DACA status. Don’t forget to renew your DACA between 150 and 120 days before it expires. It is best to be proactive—starting from the moment you first receive your approval notice. Save a little money each month. Mark your calendars to highlight the dates that are 150 to 120 days before your DACA status expires. Approval times may vary, but if you file your renewal during the suggested timeframe, there is a better chance you will receive approval for your renewal BEFORE your DACA expires. This is helpful if you have a job that requires you to have legal status at all times.
If you are a victim of violence or abuse
- Make a plan to get away from your abuser safely
- Contact a domestic violence shelter, and
- When you can do so safely, contact the police.
Be sure to cooperate with the police if they become involved in any way. You can get a protective order issued against your abuser, and you may qualify for special immigration relief based on the abuse you’ve suffered. Talk to an immigration lawyer.