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Your options in enforcing Texas child support

If you are a custodial parent, it is likely that you are financially dependent on child support payments to some extent. The payments that you receive from the other parent will help you to pay for your child's food, shelter, child care and extra-curricular activities. If you have not been receiving child support payments recently, you may be feeling angry or distressed about this issue.

The state of Texas takes child support enforcement very seriously, because it recognizes the impact that missed payments can have on families. There are many options for parents who are suffering financially due to delinquent payments.

Family law: Parents allege violation of child custody orders

When two people share a child but not a relationship, determining child custody can be difficult. When a family law court creates a child custody order, parents trust that their child's other parent will honor it. They also assume that if the order is violated, they can rely on the police and courts to enforce it. However, several parents in one area of Texas say that they are having great difficulty getting their child's other parent to follow what they assumed was an already settled child custody agreement.

Local news media in El Paso found records stating that from 2014 to 2016, over 4,000 complaints alleging child custody interference were filed. Only 229 of those reports were turned over to the district attorney and only 11 of those cases resulted in an indictment. The district attorney says that the cases should be handled by the court and that they are civil matters.

Karl Lagerfeld likely included his cat in his estate plan

Many people here in Texas consider pets to be like members of their family. These animals bring joy and love to their owners' lives, and many owners want their faithful companions to be well-cared for, even after the owner has passed on. Despite the sentimental attachment many people feel to their pets, legally the animals are considered property in divorce proceedings. The recent death of fashion mogul Karl Lagerfeld serves as an excellent example of why provisions need to be made for pets in an estate plan.

Pets have often been given to trusted friends or family members upon an owner's death, as can be specified in a will. However, because many pets these days are so loved by their owners, many people make the choice to have a trust created to care for their pet after their death. It was no secret that Lagerfeld loved his cat, Choupette. Given that he pampered the cat while he was alive, it stands to reason that he may have set up a trust specifically for her. The appointed custodian of the pet can access funds from the trust and use them exclusively to care for the animal.

Be sure to avoid these estate planning mistakes

Estate planning is one of those things no one wants to do, but everyone has to do. While you may have some concerns about the process, once you're on the right track you can make informed and confident decisions that benefit you and your family.

It's not always easy to avoid common estate planning mistakes, but knowledge of what could go wrong will help you do just that. Here are five mistakes that many people have made before you:

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