Custody of Pets and Out of State Child Support

Live at Five’s family attorney, Sonya Coffman, answers question submitted by KFDM news viewers of Southeast Texas. These questions include:

  • What can be done about gaining custody of a pet?
  • What can be done about a parent who has moved out of state and claims that they are no longer required to pay child support?


well they still fight like cats and dogs in divorce court but more and more you’re seeing people fighting about cats and dogs Live at Five’s family attorney Sonya Coffman joins us now with details plus answers your family law questions lots of people aren’t just talking about custody of their kids when they split up they're talking about custody of their pets more and more we're seeing that American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys said that nationwide that custody fights over pets is on the rise really so what are you seeing are you seeing more of the women winning or the men or does it just depend case-by-case it depends case-by-case one rule of thumb is that judges often award the pets to the house with the children which makes sense that the children should not be separated from their pets right but its a shift in traditional thinking because courts used to consider pets to be property that would be divided just like furniture and other property now the shift is more like a custody case there are a little beings themselves I think a lot of people consider their pets like children so it's an interesting phenomena I was visiting with a friend today who does some estate planning and he tells me that now people are even putting them in their wills provisions to care for their pets after their death to provide for them financially and custody type arranged well I know that Texas A & M University has a program itself for the pets once you have left once you have died they pretty much take care of your pet for eternity I didn’t know that its good to know that it's something to look into Well our let's go to KFDM newspage Facebook page uh this person says we pay child support and the mother decided to move to another state and feels she does not have to follow the order anymore what do we do you know well they need to file something with the court to enforce the order could be that this person is in contempt of several provisions of the order especially if there's a geographic restriction on the residents that the was not allowed to move okay another question what age can a child make the decision to not have visitation with the parent never that's a big misconception in the law and people think that it twelve the child gets to choose and not so at twelve a child gets to be heard the court will interview the child in chambers but it's always up to the court and the best interest of the children where they live okay this person wants to know when a parent works and gets disability why does the non-custodial parent get to choose to not pay the extra child-support also on age of the child fourteen and up how do parents workout visitation why it is a non-custodial parent get to stop providing insurance wow several questions there several questions uh... at the age of fourteen courts are very mindful that a child that age has strong wishes about where they spend their time lots of friends activities and other things that affect that so parents still have to follow the order but the child can sure be heard by the judge on how that should work ok another question if it hard to get the courts to allow custodial parent to move to another county why is permission needed to move within the state you know we do ask that question a lot it's a big area in custody litigation now this area to geographic restriction that the family code presumes that it's in the best interest of children to have a frequent and regular contact with both parents and so that's what the courts are looking at geographic restrictions to make that possible you have to look at the orders some orders are drafted that the residents has to be within a particular county but some are particular county with the counties that touch that county contiguous counties so just have to look at the order and see what it provides alright and unfortunately we are out of time we've got overloaded with questions but appreciate that and we'll have you back on you can answer those questions and if you have a question about family law you can let Sonyaanswer your questions just fax us the questions eight nine two seven three oh five email us at or you can post those questions on our KFDM news Facebook page we'll be right back