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How to Prepare for a Temporary Hearing

How to Prepare for a Temporary Hearing

If you’re involved in a child custody temporary hearing, then you already understand that stress takes a huge toll. Preparation is the key to not only reducing this stress but determining a successful outcome. Getting organized can save you time, money and effort. A Judge wants to hear both sides fairly, but he or she will also be examining the amount of work each side has put into its case. Obviously, it’s easier to side with someone who cares enough to present factual information readily and confidently. The following tips will help you prepare for your child custody temporary hearing.

Financial Information

When it comes to getting custody, money might be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it’s one of the key pieces of information a Judge studies to determine proper placement. After all, if you can’t prove your ability to financially support your children, then a Judge will be less inclined to grant you custody. In order to show that you’re a responsible, financially stable guardian, you should keep track and present the following information:

Wage information, including a year’s worth of W2s, 1099s and current tax information.

A statement of assets, liabilities, income and expenses, categorized by type.

Insurance coverage on both yourself and the child(ren).

This financial information should be clear, concise and organized in a logical way.

Miscellaneous Documentation

Other relevant documentation should also be organized in an easy-to-read notebook, preferably with tabs to ensure that the Judge can locate information quickly. The notebook should contain the following:

Logistical information

Your home address where the child(ren) will be staying

The type of dwelling and its features

The names of any caretakers who will assist you

Neighborhood statistics

Medical Care & School Information

Names & locations of the child(ren)’s doctors

Proof of doctor’s visits

Names & locations of school(s) and teacher(s)

Report cards, school status reports and other educational information

Other miscellaneous items include letters of reference for you and any caretakers you may hire to assist you. While these may be objected to as hearsay they can be used to show your diligence in preparing for the hearing.  A Judge wants to see that you’re a responsible adult who can handle raising children. If you think a document might be important but aren’t sure, then include it anyway. It’s better to have too much information than not enough.

Preparing for a child custody temporary hearing might seem daunting, but just remember: this is your chance to set the record straight. A Judge will not fault you for presenting too much information, but he or she might judge against you if you can’t show proper recourse. Having all of this information categorized into a well-organized notebook will help to prove your competence, and it might be the difference between and good and bad outcome.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Belton Texas

Belton Texas

Named after former Texas governor, Peter Hansborough Bell, Belton, Texas is the County Seat of Bell County, with an important role in area growth accompanying the increased population accompanying Fort Hood.

In addition to events, activities and natural beauty, Belton is host to an important Texas University, which has had its place in state history: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Mary Hardin-Baylor is a fully accredited University boasting bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate programs. The University has its roots as the Baylor female college.

With two major lakes in the region, Belton is famous for outdoor activities, where nearby Central Texans flock to enjoy Belton Lake and Stillhouse Hollow Lake. In addition, Belton is home to the Bell County Expo, an important landmark in the region, hosting a multitude of events, concerts and rodeos.

Fourth of July celebrations bring residents and visitors from near and far, with more than 30,000 people attending the infamous parade in previous years. In addition to patriotic celebrations and festivities, Belton 4th of July is also brings rodeo spectators and participants.

Because of the importance of Fort Hood to the businesses, neighborhoods and families residing in Belton, Texas, 4th of July is an especially exciting period for the town, populated with more than 18,000 residents. The specific draw of outdoor recreation areas makes Belton a popular place for Central Texas residents to escape, barbeque, participate in outdoor and water activities and enjoy the quaint activities that make Belton unique. Other influential and popular places and events of interest in Belton Texas include:

- Bell County Museum (Main and Children’s)

- Bell County Expo Center

- Chalk River Falls Nature Trail and Waterfall

- 4th of July Celebration (A weeklong event with one of the top 10 parades in the nation)

- PRCA Rodeo

- Bell County Youth Fair

- Belton Market Days

- Historic Cemetery Tours

- Nature in Lights (A holiday light show at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area

- Taste of Central Texas

- One of the most exciting draws to Belton, Texas is the existence of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

While the city of Belton Texas may have experienced a period of growth and influx accompanying the area’s railroad boom, the beauty of surrounding regions, area events and innate patriotism has helped Belton continue to flourish. With character, community and pride in history and education, the future of Belton and Central Texas shows promise.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Is there any benefit to proving adultery in a Texas divorce?

Is there any benefit to proving adultery in a Texas divorce?

Often in my initial consultation the prospective clients will ask about adultery and how it affects their divorce. Of course adultery is one of the leading reasons for divorce. It is often emotional for the prospective client, and difficult to discuss.

I begin my answer by explaining to the prospective client that while we have fault based divorce in Texas based on adultery we also have no-fault divorce in our state. You can proceed with the divorce based on insupportiblity. This is to prevent fault being assigned to one of the spouses. The petition for divorce will allege that “The marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Of course I follow up with the statement that this really means that the two of you do not get along and do not want to be married to each other, and do not plan to get back together. Most divorces in Texas are no-fault divorces. These divorces do not subject the injured spouse to the emotional roller-coaster of trying to prove adultery.

If they which to know more about adultery then I explain what it means in Texas Courts and what affect it has to the outcome of the divorce. Adultery is found in section 6.003 of the Texas Family Code and it requires one spouse to prove that the other spouse had sexual intercourse with someone else. This can be a time consuming and emotional process.

Once the client has proven the adultery has occurred then where do we go from there? Well unfortunately adultery generally has little impact on the divorce. If the court wants to hold the wrong-doer at fault the court will divide the community property disproportionately. Normally the court will stay with the 50/50 division of the property.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Killeen Texas

Killeen Texas

Killeen Texas

Killeen Texas

 

I have been in practice in the Killeen Area for over 21 years. I would like to share with you some information about Killeen Texas.

Killeen Texas is in Bell County, approximately 60 miles north of Austin and adjacent to Fort Hood, one of the largest U.S. military installations in the world. Naturally, Killeen’s economy is heavily dependent on Fort Hood and its thousands of soldiers and dependents.  According to the 2010 census, the population of Killeen was about 128,000.  The currently population is estimated to be more than 140,000.

History of Killeen Texas

The town was founded in 1881 by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad, which named it after Frank P. Killeen, the railroad’s assistant general manager.  Within three years the town had grown to 350 residents and featured five general stores, two saloons, and a hotel.  Killeen became an shipping point for cotton, wool, and grain for Bell and Coryell counties, and its population increased to 1,300 by 1914.  However, more dramatic growth began in 1942 when Camp Hood (now Fort Hood) was established as a World War II training post.

Killeen Schools

The Killeen Independent School District has thirty elementary schools, eleven middle schools, four high schools, and six specialized schools.  Killeen also has a Christian school and a charter academy.  Central Texas College, located in Killeen, offers 40 associate degrees and certificates of completion.  Also in Killeen, Texas A&M University-Central Texas offers bachelor’s and master’s degree to about 2,500 students.

Killeen Area Healthcare

Killeen Texas is the home of the Metroplex Health System, a primary health care provider with more than 300 physicians in more than 40 medical specialties. The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Fort Hood provides health care services to more than 40,000 active duty personnel and more than 145,000 family members and retirees living within a 40-mile radius. In 2012, the new Seton Medical Center opened in Harker Heights, just five mile from Killeen. This new 83-bed hospital offers an emergency department, intensive and critical care, women’s services, cardiology, orthopedics, and surgical services.

Killeen Airport

The Killeen community is served by Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport, a military/commercial joint-use airport based inside the Fort Hood Military Reservation seven miles southwest of the Killeen’s central business district.  The major highways passing within ten miles of Killeen are Interstate 35, U.S. Highway 190, and State Highway 195.

Killeen Shopping

The town’s main shopping center is the Killeen Mall, which is a 500,000-square-foot facility located on 63 acres and features more than 100 stores. Killeen is also home to the Vive Les Arts Theatre, a community theater that produces programs for both adults and children.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Fort Hood Military Child Support

Fort Hood Military Child Support

Fort Hood, Texas

Fort Hood, Texas

As a Killeen Divorce Attorney, I often determine child support. Sometimes it can be very difficult to calculate Fort Hood military child support from a service member’s paychecks. The paycheck is a Leave and Earnings Statement referred to as an LES.  Aside from the BAS and BAH calculations, differentials in pay for hazardous duty, rank and other roles need to be considered as well. It is important to know the amount of the service member’s income and the amount they are contributing to the dependent’s health care or day care. It is better to use the Leave and Earnings Statement opposed to a tax return in order to accurately determine a service member’s level of income. The LES shows the base pay, housing and miscellaneous allowances, information on dependents and available leave that has been accrued.

In Texas, the BAS and BAH can be included when calculating a child support order. A BAH, formally referred to as Basic Allowance for Housing, is the U.S based allowance determined from dependency status, pay grade and duty location that serves as compensation for housing accommodations. The BAS, Basic Allowance for Subsistence, is U.S based compensation for meal expenses. People typically need the help of a child support agency or an attorney in order to get all the financial information needed to obtain child support.

It is important to remember that the IRS does not tax food and housing allowances for the military. Many people are able to get a ballpark idea of the child support due by adding all the income together in order to calculate annual income. Divide the annual income by 12 in order to determine the gross monthly income. Apply the gross monthly income to the Texas Attorney General Tax Chart and then multiply the corresponding percentage for each respective child. It is important for non-custodial service members to expect their BAH and BAS to be considered a part of their income.

Other items that are typically included in the child support calculations include submarine pay, combat zone exclusions, specialty pay and overseas pay as well. It is important to get together with a lawyer, accountant or tax professional that has the expertise in sorting through the different ranks and fluctuations associated with military pay. It is important for noncustodial parents to assume that all sources of income will be considered to determine Fort Hood child support. It is also important to remember that the Leave and Earnings Statement is typically the most effective tools for determining military pay.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Life in Temple Texas

Temple Texas

Temple Texas

Temple Texas

Having a family law practice that represents people from Temple, Texas I thought I should share some information about Temple.

Temple Texas is located in Bell County in central Texas.  The town was founded in 1881 by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad and named after Bernard Moore Temple, a civil engineer and surveryor for the railroad.

Demographics

As of 2010, Temple had a population of over 66,000, which represented a 20% increase over a 10-year period. Temple has a diverse population made up of approximately 68% White, 24% Hispanic, and 17% African American. About 24% of Temple’s residents are under 18 years of age, 9% are 18 to 24, 28% from 25 to 44, 20% 45 to 64, and 15% over 65 years of age. Females outnumber males by about 100 to 97.

Education

The town has one high school, three middle schools, nine elementary schools as well as several private schools. Temple is home to Temple College, which offers associate degrees in various subjects, as well as Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

Transportation

Temple continues to be an important railroad hub, with both Union Pacific and BNSF Railway having rail lines in the city. Amtrak also makes stops at Temple Railway Station.  Temple does not have commercial airline service, but it is just 5 miles from Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport and just 35 miles from Waco Regional Airport.

Shopping

The Temple Mall is the city’s major shopping areas, and one of the largest shopping malls in Bell County. The Community Market in downtown Temple is held the second Saturday of the month from March through December from 9a.m. to 3p.m. The Market offers creative works by local artists, homemade jams and jellies, and a variety of arts & crafts.

Medical Care

Temple is home to the Veterans’ Hospital Center and Scott & White Memorial Hospital, the largest employer in town with more than 12,000 employees.  Temple Texas is known as a regional health center and it is the national leader in physicians per capital.

Entertainment

Temple Civic Theater, the Temple Symphony Orchestra and the Cultural Activities Center offer live music and theater. The town also hosts a number of annual events, including the Central Texas Airshow, the Temple Jazz Festival and the July 4th All American Family Fun Fest.

Nature and Wild Life

Temple’s surroundings include beautiful green prairies. scenic Lake Belton, gorgeous wooded land, and it is home to many species of wildlife, including wild deer, turkeys, foxes and wild birds.

Famous Residents

Famous resident of Temple Texas include the football players Sammy Baugh, Mean Joe Greene, and actor Rip Torn.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Spring Break 2013

Spring Break 2013

With spring break in quickly approaching parents are making plans for a week off from school. When making your spring break plans check your possession order to make sure you have the child(re) for spring break. Next take out at your school calendar to see when the break begins. If the child(ren) other parent has them this spring coordinate how the children will get there is the most stress freeway. If you have the child(ren) this spring break then make sure the children have a good time.

If the parent exercising visitation live over 100 miles away then that parent will have every spring break. Otherwise if the parents live within 100 miles from each other the break is shared by alternating possession each year.

If you are in an ongoing court case review any temporary orders that prevent you from taking the child(ren) out of the State.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

What Is the Divorce Process?

What Is the Divorce Process?

As a Killeen Texas Divorce Attorney I am often asked about the divorce process. I look at the divorce process as a progression of stages. Each of these stages are equally important to the divorce process.

Stage One – The Decision to End the Marriage

Stage Two – The Original Petition for Divorce

Stage Three – The Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Hearing

Stage Four – Formal Discovery

Stage Five – The Mediation

Stage Six in the – Final Hearing

Stage Seven – The Final Decree and Closing Documents

These stages in the divorce process are generally in the same order for each case. In an simple uncontested divorce stages three (3) through five (5) are unnecessary. In cases where the parties have significant assets which require additional information or cases that are contested all stages of the divorce process are included.

If you are contemplating filing a divorce petition or have been served with a petition for divorce you should schedule an appointment with an attorney to discuss these stages of divorce. Each one of these stages presents difficulties for the untrained individual.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Federal Assistance to Victims of Family Violence

Family Violence

Family violence destroys many relationships, and yet many abused spouses stay in the relationship with their abusers. Victims of family violence will sometimes hesitate to come forward when their spouse in a service member. This may be because the spouse is the sole wage earner and supports the family or that the family needs his income to survive. Often the abused spouse has moved away from their family to join their military spouse and now find themselves without emotional support. They feel that they are trapped in the relationship.

Federal Assistance for Victims of Family Violence

It is important for those who may feel trapped by the family violence there is assistance from the military. Federal law provides protection to the spouse of a military member discharged for an offense which “involves abuse of the then-current spouse or a dependent child.” It doesn’t matter if the discharge is by court-martial, or an administrative decision begun by the commander. The reason for the discharge must be for a “dependent abuse” offense.

The offenses that mean “involves abuse of the then-current spouse or a dependent child” mean the criminal offense such as assaultive conduct against the person of that spouse or a dependent child.

Payments for Victims of Family Violence

The payments cannot exceed 36 months. If the military member had less than 36 months of obligated military service at the time of the discharge or imposition of the court-martial sentence, then the payments will either be the length of the member’s obligated service, or 12 months, whichever is greater.

Amount of the payments through December 1, 2011 are shown below:

A spouse or former spouse receives transitional compensation at the same rate as monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

DIC Rate                      Effective Date

1,091                      December 1, 2007

1,154                      December 1, 2008

1,195                      December 1, 2011

NOTE: The DIC rates for 2009 and 2010 remained the same as the December 1, 2008 rate.

Payments for Victims of Family Violence Who Has Custody of a Child

If the spouse or former spouse has custody of a dependent child or children of the member who resides in the same household as that spouse or former spouse, then transitional compensation is increased for each child by an amount equal to the monthly DIC amount payable for dependent children.

DIC Rate                      Effective Date

271                       December 1, 2007

286                       December 1, 2008

296                       December 1, 2011

NOTE: The DIC rates for 2009 and 2010 remained the same as the December 1, 2008 rate.

Payments for Dependent Children

If transitional compensation is payable to a dependent child, then payments are made in equal shares in an amount equal to the monthly DIC amount payable for dependent children.

DIC Child Rate

Effective             1 Child 2 Children 3 Children   Over 3

December 1, 2007        $462     $663    $865  $865 plus $165 for each child over 3

December 1, 2008        $488     $701    $915  $915 plus $174 for each child over 3

December 1, 2011        $505     $726   $947  $947 plus $180 for each child over 3

NOTE: The DIC rates for 2009 and 2010 remained the same as the December 1, 2008 rate.

The victim of family violence will need to complete paperwork in order to start the process to receive the compensation. This compensation will allow the victims of family violence to have funds available for themselves and their families.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.

Fort Hood, Texas

Fort Hood, Texas

Fort Hood, Texas

Fort Hood, Texas

Fort Hood is a United States military post in Texas that ranks among the largest in the world. In 2012 over 50,000 soldiers were stationed here. It is home to III Corps, 1st Cavalry Division, First Army Division West, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade and other units. The cantonment area is located close to Killeen. North Fort Hood is located near Gatesville on the northwest side. Waco, Texas is approximately 50 miles north of the post. It is the largest active duty shielded army post in the United States.

History

The War Department chose the post in Texas to test and train World War II tank destroyers in 1942 because it had an area of 158,706 acres and housing for officers and enlisted personnel. The camp officially opened on September 18, 1942 and was named Fort Hood in honor of the Confederate General John Bell Hood, who was the commander of Hood’s Texas Brigade during the Civil War. During World War II, the post provided housing for approximately 4,000 prisoners of war and 40,000 troops. The most famous trainee to go through training here was Elvis Presley in 1958. Many troops trained here for deployment to Vietnam during the latter years of the sixties.

Impact on Local Communities

The Central Texas communities of Gatesville, Killeen and Copperas Cove maintain a good relationship with the post and the soldiers stationed there. Many new businesses have helped these cities to grow along with the base. Merchants offer competitive prices with larger cities. There are a number of public and private schools that serve the base. Central Texas College participates in the Military Spouse Career Advancement Program, which makes military spouses eligible for scholarships for education and training. The post campus of CTC offers classes that are taught after duty hours for active duty personnel. Civilians play an integral role at the post and remain a critical component.

Military Families

The Pentagon reports that divorce rates for military families have risen over the past ten years. The number of divorces rose substantially after Operation Iraqi Freedom started. The soldiers stationed at Fort Hood are no exception. Divorce rates for military service members in Texas continue to rise. The divorce rate in 2001 was 2.6 percent, but by 2011 it had risen to 3.7. The post offers programs designed to help personnel cope with the stress of frequent deployments and relocations. They make counseling sessions available at no cost to the families in an effort to help curb the growing divorce rates.

Bobby Dale Barina is a Board Certified Family Lawyer serving the communities of: Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Salado, Nolanville, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Temple, Gatesville and Central Texas.

If you are seeking to file a petition concerning a family law matter or have been served with a lawsuit relating to a family law matter contact Bobby Dale Barina at (254) 699-3755 or visit his website.