Support Modification & Enforcement
Putting together a child support agreement can be complicated. If you are feeling intimidated by the process, it’s best to hire an attorney who is experienced with support contracts to ensure that you’ve closed any loopholes and arranged the best possible care for your children.
You will also want the assistance of a strong family law firm if you already have an existing agreement that you need to change, or need help collecting payments from your ex-spouse. Our lawyers are knowledgeable with the Texas child support guidelines and know how to secure court orders and hold all child support agreement signees accountable.
There are legal consequences to falling behind on support payments. Our child support lawyers walk you through your options if an ex-spouse is not respecting an agreement.
We can help you determine appropriate modifications and seek court approval if your agreed upon child support is no longer fitting for one or both parties due to life changes.
Child Support Standards In Texas
In Texas, courts usually order non-custodial parents to pay support to the primary caretaker for the child/children. The amount of child support due is based on what the judge feels is in the best interest of the child.
That said, Texas law has an established formula to calculate child support. The judge will use this calculation as well as other factors involving the child’s best interests.
While these guidelines for child support are in place, Texas courts often deviate a bit, as long as it involves what’s in the best interest of the child. An experienced child support lawyer can be invaluable during the process. The attorneys at Hardy Law Group, PLLC, are here to help parents establish financial stability for their children.
Calculating Child Support In Texas
As a starting point, Texas courts begin with the “Texas Guidelines” for child support, which utilizes percentages of “net resources” of the paying spouse (or “obligor”). Computing net resources is an important and complex task that has direct consequences for the child. The manner and frequency in which a parent is paid can impact what is set as net resources.
For instance, calculating percent may work differently for someone paid hourly vs someone who receives a salary. Additional payments such as commission, bonuses, and benefits are also considered.
Percent Of Net Resources Applied
The percentages to the right apply to cases in which the paying parent has net resources of $7,500 or less (as referenced in Texas Family Code Sec. 154.125). These percentages are only a guideline, as the amount ordered in any particular case depends on many factors.
Calculating payment amount can be more complex if a parent is self-employed or has multiple jobs. Net resources also take into account money from other sources such as rentals and other income-producing property.
Texas Child Support Payment Calculator
You can get a rough idea of what to expect using the calculator on the Texas Attorney General website. Having a family attorney working with you ensure that the agreed payments are appropriate.
Paying More Or Less Than Texas Guidelines
An experienced attorney will know how to argue to the court if your child needs more support than what the Texas guidelines outline. Based on your child’s particular situation or special needs, the court can order a variance from those guidelines.
The Texas Legislature has a list of factors that are used in determining whether deviating from the guidelines is in the best interest of the child, find these factors are spelled out in the Family Code.
Duration Of Child Support
Child support is ordered until the child turns 18, graduates from high school, marries, or enlists in the military. The child support obligation may continue after a child turns 18 if that child is still enrolled in school full time and is working towards a diploma or GED.
In cases with a child who will not be capable of self support and requires special care or personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability, child support can last longer than the standard duration.
Legal Assistance With The Child Support Process In DFW
Contact our Dallas/Fort Worth child support lawyers for a free case evaluation. We understand that all cases and family situations are different and each child’s needs unique. Just having a knowledgable family attorney to help you through your child support case can take some of the stress out of the complicated process and ensure that all your child’s needs are met. Contact us to get experienced help with calculating, establishing, and enforcing child support.
Texas Child Support Information
Contact The Child Support Division
Custodial parents can call this number for payments, or questions about their case: 1-800-252-8014
For more info, visit the official child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cs/welcome-to-the-child-support-division
Non-Custodial parents can make child support payments online: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cs/payment-options
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