Texas  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/19/13, 11:48 pm

I'm in TX and really need help. I've been trying to divorce since fall of 2001 - ex is evading child support by threatening visitation with his estranged daughter each time we go to court (as long as he didn't have to pay support, he was happy and we never knew where he was. I left TX for work in VA in 2001 after filling - huge mistake, I know now. (I was forced to come back to TX from out of state over and over until I lost my job in 2004 and had to move back to TX - ex's attorney said he would never let me leave the state if I got orders for child support) He's never paid child support - court says he was "morally obligated" to pay back child support, so he had no incentive to finalize anything (discovered in court that he never divorced his previous wife in CA either) - he's asked multiple times to relinquish parental rights, I even paid for the GAL and he approved, but judge eventually refused (says "all dads are 'good' dads) and I was asked to pay for a jury trial (this was 2006) - which I could not even afford due to my mounting debts as the sole caregiver. I've just been left in limbo ever since. My daughter is now 12 and even though we had to move back to TX and in spite of being only a 20 minute drive away from him - he's never so much as called her on the phone, came to see her, sent her a card or letter etc. She wouldn't know him if she met him on the street. I don't know where to start - we want to move but

A. If we go ahead and move and I want to file in another county, do I need to get a "change of venue" or anything with the previous/last court

B. if I have not had any contact with my "attorney" in 7 years, does she still "work" for me? Do I have to contact her before I hire another attorney

C. Now that my daughter is now 12, will the courts let her choose whom she visits/lives with?

D. Do I have the right to ask for the 11 years of unpaid support that he's never paid?

E. If I try to move/buy a house (I already owned this one prior to being married) - would the normal, community property laws still apply even though we haven't been together in 11 years? could he ask for 1/2?

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