Adoptions Attorney Leslie Barrows
Moving a child during a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship 
 

In Texas, a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) case is one where a judge is asked to make an order regarding child custody, visitation, child support and responsibilities for medical support. A SAPCR does not involve the dissolution of a marriage or the division of debt or property among spouses, a SAPCR only involves issues involving children.

When a parent has sole custody, called the sole managing conservator, that parent has the right to designate the primary residence of a child. If parents have shared custody, and are joint managing conservators, the parenting plan assigns one parent as having the right to designate primary residence.

Texas Family Law rules for venue and transfers of a SAPCR

If the parent who has the right to designate the child’s residence decides to move, they can. The original court where the parties were divorced or had parents’ rights determined in a SAPCR, is the court that retains continuing exclusive jurisdiction over case and the parties. If, however, a parent moves far away or out of state, they can ask the original court to transfer the case to a new county or state.

The rules for transferring SAPCR cases are unique in the Texas Family Code and the normal Texas civil procedure rules do not apply. Generally, an original SAPCR suit must be filed in the county where the child resides. To transfer the case to another court, the parties can ask for a one-time transfer of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction, when the original SAPCR case is filed; not later and not by other downstream counties if the parties move.

What can happen when SAPCR cases are improperly transferred

A Texas Court of Appeals case out of Corpus Christi[i] involved several transfers of a SAPCR case through various counties, ending in a final trial in Nueces County. The final judgment in the SAPCR case was set aside and the case was transferred back to its original counties. The parties moved several times, filed several motions to transfer the case, and the Court of Appeals Court noted that a motion to transfer is timely when made at the time the initial case is filed.

About Us: For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

 

[i] IN the INTEREST OF C.G., 495 S.W.3d 40 (2016)

Celebrate Tarrant County Adoption Day, November 17 
 

November 17, is not just another Friday for foster children who get to join their family forever. Emotions run high, smiles wide and flashes from cameras fill the room of happy volunteers and families adopting their foster children. Teddy bears for the newly adopted also fill the room and show the generosity of the professionals working at the event and behind the scenes. The Tarrant County Adoption Day event is a day-long event celebrating new families and their finalized adoption process.

Tarrant County Adoption Day is an annual event anticipated year-round.

The first Tarrant County Adoption Day event was held in 2000 as part of the celebration of National Adoption Day. The celebration in Tarrant County is one of several hundred adoption events nationwide. Last year there were 76 children adopted and this year many more will become a permanent part of a loving and caring family.

Memories will be made on November 17th. Mothers will receive roses, fathers will receive the pens used by judges to finalize adoptions and a framed family photograph make the day special for the families who participate in adopting their foster child.

You can volunteer and help take part in Tarrant County Adoption Day.

To learn more about Tarrant County Adoption Day, visit the event website and Facebook page. Also, register to volunteer online. By clicking the volunteer section that best fits your availability you may help with setting up the event on Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning. There are volunteer options for working registration tables, being family escorts, courtroom aides or if you do not mind, you can offer to be placed wherever help is needed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About Us: For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

 

Juvenile Law Podcast: What happens in juvenile court hearings in Texas 
 

This is The Barrows Firm Law Review, a monthly Internet radio show podcast featuring information about Texas law and events that affect families and the community of attorneys and professionals who serve them.

What Happens in Juvenile Court Hearings in Texas:  

  • What are the important roles in the Texas Juvenile Justice System?
  • What are some definitions in the juvenile system that differ from adult court?
  • How do parents help their child if they must go to a juvenile court hearing?
  • What are common elements and issues involving juveniles and probation?

Leslie Barrows is the principal founder of The Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas. In her firm’s main practice areas of family law and juvenile law, Leslie is consistently challenged with dynamic cases and clients. When winning is what matters, people trust Leslie Barrows based on her reputation and winning track record over the past decade. Leslie earned her undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University and she earned her law degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. She is a member of numerous organizations primarily focused in Tarrant County.

For more information at (817) 481-1583 for The Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas, not far from the Southlake Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

Texas Courts: No standing orders in Tarrant County divorce, but mutual TROs are common 
 

In many North Texas counties, standing orders are mandatory, but in Tarrant County most divorce cases involve mutual temporary restraining orders (TROs). If your divorce is in Denton County you will receive and are subject to standing orders that apply to everyone involved in a divorce or suit affecting a parent-child relationship. The standing orders take effect with the filing of the lawsuit. Standing orders are a formalized version of a TRO, a set of rules require parties to maintain a status quo and refrain from certain behavior that could cause damage to parties to the divorce, children involved and property and assets. The biggest difference between standing orders and TROs is that a standing order is automatic and not requested by one of the parties. If your divorce is in Tarrant County you can decide with your lawyer whether a TRO is reasonable and necessary and whether you may agree to a mutual TRO.

What language is contained in most standing orders, such as in Denton County?

In accordance with the Texas Family Code, Denton County adopted and issues its standing order compelling parties to a divorce or suit affecting a parent-child relationship to adhere to the following standard rules: (these bullet points are a general summary and not exact language).

  • Not to disrupt children by removing them from the state to change residence, nor withdrawing them from school, hiding them from others, making disparaging remarks about the other spouse, or talking about the divorce case;
  • Refrain from actions that are intended to harass, annoy, alarm abuse, torment or embarrass the other party. Don’t show up at their work to cause a scene;
  • Preserving community marital property and funds during the divorce, and not destroying, removing, withdrawing, selling or transferring assets so that the proper divorce procedure may be used to properly account for and distribute community property consistent with Texas law;
  • Preserving and not concealing personal and business records relevant to the parties and the marriage;
  • Maintaining and not withdrawing or borrowing against insurance policies;
  • Parties may engage in the regular course of family business during the case;
  • Language regarding the service and application of the standing order.

What are the benefits of having TROs instead of standing orders in Tarrant County?

Some, all or none of the bullet point examples of the standing order above can or may be used in a TRO. Even though it is standard practice among some attorneys, others do not bother with a TRO unless there is a real and present threat of harm to one of the parties, children or assets at issue. In many cases, a TRO can start with a threat of harm or a threat that one party might, for example, raid and stash the contents of a safe deposit box at the bank.

In addition to being able to narrowly tailor the language of your custom TRO, when entering into a mutual TRO to which both parties agree to be bound during the pendency of the case, there are fewer or more potential violations depending on the amount and type of language used. People are not encouraged to hunt others down for violating standing orders, however, there can be situations where people read others’ actions as violations of the court’s order. This can lead to unnecessary conflict in the case. On the other hand, when custom language is used, the intent may be to use broader terms the parties know a judge may have to apply in the event on party starts pointing their finger at the other.

What happens if someone violates a TRO or a standing order?   

It would be an understatement to say that judges strongly prefer the parties to a divorce or suit affecting a parent-child relationship to obey the orders of their court. When people chose to ignore a court order they may be charged with direct or indirect contempt of court which can lead to fines and penalties including jail time.

Violations of orders not to disrupt children or people can lead to consequences as can violations offering the destruction, removal or wasting of community property. When the damages are financial in nature the party guilty of violating the order may be charged with reimbursing the marital estate for the value of the damage, plus penalties if the judge so orders.

Even if one party is accused of violating a TRO and not found in violation, the judge is not likely to be happy being the referee over a he-said, she-said match. Once you lose credibility with your divorce judge it may be difficult to reverse that damage. While the judge must act within the guidelines of the family code, remember they have broad discretion in many areas.

About Us: For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

Adopting your stepchildren in Texas 
 

Today there are many stepparents who love and raise their stepchildren as their own. Why not make them your own legally? The decision to adopt your stepchild reflects your love and commitment to everyone in your family. To adopt a child in Texas you must be at least 21 years of age and a responsible and financially able provider. The application and process involves several steps and an experienced family law attorney can help advise and represent you to ensure success in adopting your stepchild.

Once you adopt your stepson or stepdaughter, they become your legal child with all the rights and responsibilities as a natural born child. As parents think about estate planning and caring for the family and its wealth preservation, adopting stepchildren makes them a legally recognized child for will and estate planning purposes. Without formally adopting a stepchild, there is no legal operation of law that would treat a stepchild as a naturally born child.

Adopting a stepchild requires consent or the termination of the other natural parent

If for example, you are married to the mother and custodial parent, the non-custodial father must consent to the adoption and their natural parental rights would need to be terminated as a matter of law. If the non-custodial parent is not involved in the child’s life, it may be easy to get them to voluntarily waive their custody, visitation and natural parental rights so that you can adopt the child as the stepparent.

In the event the other natural parent is deceased, the same would have to be proven in court to proceed in an adoption. Where the other natural parent is alive and ascertainable, an action may be filed in the court to terminate the other’s parental rights. The parent whose rights are sought to be terminated must receive service of process to be aware of the proceedings and have the right to appear before the court. In some cases, the other parent is in prison or has lost contact and is nowhere to be found. There are a variety of possible issues in parental termination actions.

The court ordered social study and evaluation process

Adoption requirements in Texas include a social study evaluation. An official evaluator will visit you and your family to learn more about everyone involved and to consider the best interests of the to-be-adopted child. The evaluator prepares a social study report and recommendation to the judge in the adoption case. Judges give significant weight to the evaluator’s report, but are not bound by it and can make their own decision based on facts and appropriate discretion.

Social study evaluations should include information about the all the relationship a child may have with various family members and those interested in the adoption case. While the purpose behind these evaluations is to prevent unfit individuals from obtaining legal rights as parents of non-natural born children, the process also allows for communications about the long lasting legal implications of an adoption of the natural born child of another.

Adoption proceedings in court involve an amicus attorney

Once the social study evaluation is complete the court can appoint an amicus attorney to serve the court in reviewing all the information in the file, conducting their own similar investigations and research, and presenting a recommendation to the judge whether to allow the adoption to be finalized. What may appear a redundant lawyer of procedure is an important part of the adoption case, another set of eyes and ears on each adoption.

About Us: For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

What may happen when a minor child is involved in the juvenile justice system in Texas 
 

When minor children in Texas aged 10 to 17 are charged with criminal offenses they are prosecuted in the juvenile justice system. In 2011, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) was formed to combine the rehabilitation services of two formerly separate agencies, the Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. The goal of the Texas legislature and the TJJD is to manage a unified state juvenile justice agency with effective comprehensive programs and services for offenders from the point of first contact through the termination of probation and supervision.

A TJJD board of directors is appointed by the governor to better serve and rehabilitate minor offenders with the hope that they learn from their mistakes and do not reoffend and return to the justice system as adults. As many believe, all kids are good and some make mistakes, they are all worth the time and effort of the TJJD and the professionals who play important roles in the process of rehabilitating minors in trouble.

An overview of juvenile prosecution:

When law enforcement arrests and detains a minor with the suspicion for criminal offenses, the juvenile prosecuting attorney reviews the arresting officer statements and evidence and determines if an individual should be prosecuted. In the juvenile system, the official charging document is called a petition. An assistant district or county attorney may also serve as a juvenile prosecuting attorney.

Depending on the nature of the offense and circumstances, a minor may be referred to juvenile court to be informally admonished and sent home, or the juvenile prosecuting attorney files a petition to charge the minor.

The petition is a charge of delinquent conduct which includes offenses that when committed by adults could be punished by confinement to a jail or prison. Conduct that only applies to youth, such as truancy or conduct that would only result in a fine for an adult, such as speeding, is referred to as conduct in need of supervision (CINS) in the juvenile system. If the juvenile court makes a finding, called an adjudication that a minor engaged in delinquent or CINS conduct, the same is like a conviction in adult court.

If a minor receives a petition for an adjudication there is a formal court procedure like that in adult criminal courts. Minors have rights and hire attorneys to represent them during the juvenile justice process. It is important to obtain a skilled juvenile law attorney to defend a juvenile facing a criminal record which could significantly affect their future.

If adjudicated, there are several possible outcomes:

The court weighs the circumstances of cases and the evidence presented by the attorneys to determine an appropriate sentence for the juvenile offender. In many cases where the juvenile is does not have a record and simply made a mistake, they may be released and placed on probation, which must be discharged by the time the juvenile turns 18 years of age.

In more serious matters which may also involve repeat offenders the juvenile may be sent to the TJJD to serve their sentence which may be a determined amount of time or it could also be an indeterminate sentence. Like juvenile probation, those juveniles sent to a TJJD facility on a determined sentence are discharged when they turn 19 years of age. Juveniles given indeterminate sentences, however, may be transferred to an adult prison, which depends on the individual’s behavior and progress in the TJJD programs.

Even if a juvenile must serve time at TJJD, the focus remains on making sure that juvenile stays out of the court system as an adult and does not become a recurring offender.

The purpose of TJJD programs focused on the growth and maturity of juvenile offenders is to help minors in the juvenile system learn that they have an option to control their behavior and conduct to prevent themselves from reoffending and eventually becoming institutionalized. The overseeing TJJD state board of directors develops policies and programs to best attend to the needs of juveniles who need extra assistance and support in developing their mental and emotional maturity.

About Us: For more please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like additional information about this content, need to hire an attorney, please call The Barrows Firm at (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

Confrontation Clause: Fort Worth’s 2nd District Court of appeals reverses sex assault conviction 
 

In a recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling in Fort Worth, the court majority reversed a defendant’s sexual assault convictions based on arguments made to the appellate court that the trial court judge violated his constitutional rights by not allowing him to confront his accusers, specifically restricting his cross examination of two witnesses for the prosecution.

The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.[i]

Defendant’s constitutional claims

At issue was the preservation of the defendant’s constitutional claims and arguments. The minority dissenting justices noted in the opinion that the defendant did not make or preserve any constitutional arguments about confronting the prosecution witnesses at the trial court level and not until the filing of his appeal following his sexual assault conviction.

During trial, the court restricted the defendant’s cross examination of the sexual assault complainant regarding patient treatment. The exchange is as follows:

“[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, we would submit that all of this testimony is relevant and should come before the jury so the jury can get the whole picture of the situation. So . . . we’d like to ask these questions in front of the jury.

[THE STATE]: Your Honor, we’d object as hearsay. Also, it is not relevant to anything related to the elements in this case. Also, it should not be admissible under 404. Argue none of it should be admissible.

THE COURT: Sorry. I didn’t hear that last part.

[THE STATE]: Under 404, it should not be admissible. And also, additionally, I stated — I believe it’s hearsay and not relevant.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.[ii]

Similarly, the trial court limited the defendant’s opportunity to cross examine the nurse who examined the alleged victim:

“[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: The State has asked this witness about her report as to the past medical history given to her by the victim, and she repeated several things about the patient’s history that was given to her by [the complainant]. Included in that report and part of the past medical history is that she was taking Xanax and Zoloft and that she had been suffering from anxiety as a current condition and also that she had a chronic problem with herpes. That is all in the medical report. . . . So I think the State has opened the door to discussing the rest of the medical history.

THE COURT: And specifically what are you trying to get into?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: The fact that she — all of it, Your Honor. It’s on the —

THE COURT: Let me hear it for the record. What is it you’re trying to get into?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: That [the complainant] was taking Xanax and Zoloft, that she had current problems with anxiety, and that she had a chronic problem of herpes.

THE COURT: Response?

[THE STATE]: Yes, Your Honor…. I think they’re trying to elaborate on something that wasn’t asked of this witness. And besides that, they’re still trying to get into 404 information, relevance of this information, other than to basically smear this victim’s character, which isn’t acceptable at this time. That violates 404. So we continue our objections. We do not believe the door has been opened.[iii]

The trial court sustained the prosecution’s objection to the scope of defendant’s intended cross examination of the witnesses.

The opinion is a good read and there is an explanation of the preservation rule which generally states that if you don’t make a constitutional claim or argument during trial, it should not be allowed on appeal.

Despite arguments that the defendant failed to make proper confrontation clause claims during his trial, a majority of appellate court justices agreed that the defendant had been denied his right to due process of law and thus the sexual assault conviction cannot stand and must be overturned.

About Us: For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

 

 

[i] Confrontation Clause, U.S. Constitution, VI Amendment.

[ii] Joshua Golliday v. The State of Texas, Court of Appeals, Second District, No.: 02-15-00416-CR

[iii] See HNii above.

UPDATE AND CHANGE OF DIRECTION RE: Local Texas law enforcement will start paying DPS for forensic crime lab analysis 
 

UPDATE – July 28, 2017. On behalf of Texas DPS, Deputy Director of Homeland Security & Services, Mr. Robert J. Bodisch notified statewide law enforcement and prosecutors that at the request of Governor Abbott and agreement of legislative leaders that DPS reverse the decision to charge fees for forensic analysis of physical evidence. Now, DPS will continue providing forensic crime lab services at no cost to law enforcement agencies.

Original article dated July 27, 2017:

Insisting the change in the state budget, Texas lawmakers shifted the cost of state crime lab analysis to local law enforcement to help lower property taxes. Prior to the new fees going into effect this fall, state crime lab services had been available to city and county law enforcement free of charge. The new fees are projected to make up more than 15 percent of the state crime lab budget. A voucher system, still being negotiated, should benefit police and sheriff departments as they adjust their local budgets to accommodate the new fees for lab work to investigate DNA, toxicology and evidence of alcohol and controlled substances. Some say law enforcement may need to use greater discretion in cases where ordering forensic analysis will come with a price tag.

DPS fees for crime lab forensic analysis:

  • “DNA testing will cost cities and counties $550 per test;
  • Toxicology tests, such as for DWI enforcement and homicide cases, will cost $150;
  • Alcohol and controlled substance analysis will cost $75 per test.[i]

The new fees, included in the Texas crime lab budget for the coming year are expected to be $11.5 million, just more than 15 percent of the projected $74.5 million budget. The current budget is $74.6.[ii]

How will local police and sheriff departments respond to the new crime lab fees?

Individual departments will need to determine how the new DPS fees for forensic analysis affects their budgets. According to the WFAA article on point, “Police departments in North Texas, which use the state crime labs, said they have not yet heard of the new costs and are unsure if there will be an amount easily absorbed or whether they will have to ask taxpayers for more money.[iii]

A thought crossing the mind of many criminal defense attorneys is whether some law enforcement may become selective in which cases they subjectively determine it is worth the money to order blood, toxicology and DNA testing. Smaller police departments with smaller budgets are likely to feel the greatest impact of the new budget holding them accountable for the cost of lab work.

Will a state voucher program alleviate burdens on law enforcement budgets?

Still being finalized, the state is implementing a voucher system that each department can apply to some of the crime lab services. If for example, as a matter of policy, DWI arrests and charges are a high priority in law enforcement, there may be more access to voucher funds from state revenues.

Vouchers, while helpful financial aid, may be limited. There will likely be police and sheriff departments forced to make budget cuts that could affect the delivery of law enforcement services. Fewer officers could be patrolling small towns and rural counties if other funds are not budgeted to cover the new forensic lab fees that will be charged by DPS as of September 1, 2017.

For more information please contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

 

[i] WFAA 8 ABC, Police, sheriffs must soon pay to use state crime labs, by Jason Whitely, July 20, 2017.

[ii] See HNi above

[iii] See HNii above.

Taking advantage of the qualified IRS Child Tax Credit 
 

For each eligible qualifying child, you may receive the Child Tax Credit, up to $1,000. For married couples with children and single parents and separated or divorcees, there is a list of seven tests that must be passed to be entitled to claim the tax credit for each allowed dependent child.

The IRS website offers an interactive Tax Assistant application to help you discover whether you may qualify for any available Child Tax Credits – Is My Child a Qualifying Child for the Child Tax Credit?

Meanwhile, these are the seven tests, copied from IRS Tax Tip 2017-11, February 8, 2017:

Child Tax Credit Qualifications[i]:

  • “Age. The child must have been under age 17 on Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Relationship. The child must be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister. The child may be a descendant of any of these individuals. A qualifying child could also include grandchildren, nieces or nephews. Taxpayers would always treat an adopted child as their own. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with them for legal adoption.
  • Support. The child must have not provided more than half of their own support for the year.
  • Dependent. The child must be a dependent that a taxpayer claims on their federal tax return.
  • Joint return. The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the only reason they are filing is to claim a refund.
  • Citizenship. The child must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien.
  • Residence. In most cases, the child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2016.”

The next step in determining eligibility for qualified Child Tax Credits is to determine whether the income limitations eliminate the taxpayer’s opportunity to receive Child Tax Credits due to their filing status and income.

For some taxpayers, the Additional Child Tax Credit applies; “If a taxpayer qualifies and gets less than the full Child Tax Credit, they could receive a refund, even if they owe not tax.[ii]

As the IRS code may change from year to year, make sure to contact your tax professional and the IRS website for update tax credit information. The IRS page with the Child Tax Credit Tips contains additional tax schedule, E-file and publication information.

To learn more about tax issues and financial aspects of divorce and family law matters, contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake for additional information.

If you would like more information about The Barrows Firm, P.C., attorneys and mediators, please contact the firm by calling (817) 481-1583. The Barrows Firm is located at 700 East Southlake Boulevard in Southlake near the Town Square.

You can follow The Barrows Firm on social media and find important articles and resources about Texas law and how it may affect you or your family. The Barrows Firm is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. To read client endorsements and reviews of Attorney, Leslie Barrows, please visit her Avvo.com profile.

 

[i] IRS Website, Five Things to Know About the Child Tax Credit, IRS Tax Tip 2017-11, February 8, 2017.

[ii] See HNi above.

PODCAST: What happens if you must serve time in jail or prison? 

This is The Barrows Firm Law Review, a monthly Internet radio show podcast featuring information about Texas law and events that affect families and the community of attorneys and professionals who serve them. What happens if you must serve time in jail or prison? Choosing a custodian to manage your affairs while you are unavailable; […]