Child support is a broad category of family law that establishes a duty to financially fulfill a child’s lifestyle needs as a part of a divorce or paternity determination. The two spouses deal with the issues of child support after a divorce or legal separation. For the secured financial future of the children, both parents need to play their part in providing for their needs. It does not matter that who has the custody of a child, each parent has to take care of the financial needs of a child.
Although, when it comes to needs and well-being of their children both parents want the best for them, but payment of child support often creates conflicts between parents. As family law professionals, we see a variety of disputes and conflicts between parents regarding the payment of child support. With the help and guidance available from Texas Attorney General’s office, there is still always a need of an attorney with child support experience to help fathers and mothers dealing with child support disputes.
The Texas Family Code has many guidelines that a court must follow in a child support case. In most cases, the court will order the non-custodial parent to pay child support in order to help the custodial parent in meeting the child’s needs. This support continues until that child reaches the legal age of 18. Specifically:
The court may order the child support to be paid by periodic payments, a lump-sum payment, an annuity purchase, the setting aside of property to be put towards the support of the child, or any combination of these payments as agreed to by the court and the parties involved. Child support guidelines are designed to specifically tailor to each individual case in which the obligor’s monthly net resources are $7,500.00 or less. In such cases, the court will calculate child support based on the obligor’s net resources.
If support is being ordered for one child, the guidelines call for support of 20% of the obligor’s monthly net resources, and the percentage will increase according to the number of children involved. Under these guidelines, the court will cap the net resources at $7,500.00 per month, even if the obligor’s monthly income exceeds that of $7,500.00, under certain circumstances, the court may order the obligor to pay additional child support to the custodial parent but will limit the payments to the reasonable amount (the percentage paid every month multiplied by $7,500.00). In addition to the monthly child support, the court can also order the obligor to pay up to 100% of the child’s needs on a monthly basis when the needs are proven to the court.
In addition to the child support obligation, the non-custodial parent is also required to provide and maintain the child’s/children’s health insurance coverage. In the event that the obligor does not have access to health insurance at a reasonable cost and it is available to the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent would be ordered to reimburse the cost of the premium to the party carrying the health insurance. The obligor will receive a deduction in his/her net resources for either of these options. If health insurance is not available to either parent at a reasonable cost, the custodial parent can apply for coverage through a government program and the obligor would be responsible for the cost of the program.
In order to ensure that the child support obligation is being abided to as ordered, the courts require an Order to Withhold from Earnings for all cases involving child support. A withholding order ensures that the monthly payments are made by requiring the obligor’s employer to automatically deduct the monthly amount from the obligor’s disposable monthly earnings. The payments will be deducted according to the employer’s pay schedule. Under extenuating circumstances, the court can order the obligor to obtain life insurance to secure the child support that will be due up until the child support obligation would terminate, which can extend up to 18+ years.
Any other agreements made through the order or other forms of custody (that could give cause to release the child(ren)), still mandates that the child support must be paid in full by the obligor up until the age of 18. In the event that the child is still in high school at the age of 18, the support will continue to be paid until the child graduates from high school. Also, there are different rules and regulations concerning children who are disabled, thereby allowing the continuation of support for an indefinite period through the child’s disability. The court alone decides the indefinite period for support. Under Texas Law, child support does not continue through college. However, the parties can agree to extend child support beyond high school.
It is important to note that all Texas support orders can be modified while the children are under the age of 18 or still in high school, whichever occurs last. If a change in circumstance occurs, either parent can petition the court to modify the provisions of a child support orders. With regard to child support, you should never enter into an agreement that you assume will change in detail later. This raises issues as to whether an order will be changed at all and this is completely determined by the court. It is also never wise to enter into an agreement paying no or minimal child support payments and assume that your custodial parent will not request the remaining support to be paid later.
Informal agreements not made through a court order are not binding and will not be honored by the court. It is not wise to make such agreements outside the court order, as it could lead to you being held in contempt of court if you do not adhere to what is specified in the court order. It is best to always make your agreements (regarding child support) while in court to ensure that you are not in contempt.
If you are in a situation where either you are not getting the right amount of child support, have backed-up child support, or want to modify an existing child support agreement, you need to contact an experienced child support attorney. Our team of child support attorneys of Dallas, has a combined experience of more than 20 years of working on different family law disputes.
Our legal team has the expertise and knowledge of Texas child support laws, and have helped parents with drafting a child support agreement between splitting or divorced parents; modifying a child support agreements; and helping clients with getting or paying backed up child support. With experience of Texas child support laws and thousands of satisfied clients around Dallas Fort-Worth area, we are your ideal choice for any child support dispute in Texas. We offer convenient installment plans and accept all major credit cards.
You or a loved one can schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our family law attorneys by calling 972.789.1664, emailing email@example.com, or filling out the form on top of this page. We are looking forward to representing you for your child support case.
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