Rockport Child Support Lawyer Helping Clients Resolve Their Child Support Issues
One of several key aspects a divorce order needs to address is child custody. In Texas, both parents are expected to share responsibility for caring for and raising the child. In practical terms, that means the parent that does not live with the child most of the time may be required to provide financial help to the other parent in order to help provide for the child’s basic needs. Learn how child support works in Texas and what a child support lawyer can do for you.
How Does Child Support Work in Texas?
A child support order usually results from a legal action such as a divorce or a paternity establishment action (in the case of an unmarried couple). Because the parent with whom the child resides will naturally bear the majority of the living expenses required to provide for the child’s basic needs, courts understand that a child support order helps both parents share the responsibility for the child and gives them equal parenting rights and duties.
There are state guidelines used to calculate the amount of support the noncustodial parent will need to provide every month. In addition to the exact amount of each payment, the child support order will also contain information about the frequency with which payments should be made and the total duration of child support payments (for example, if payments will stop when the child turns 18 or will continue until the child graduates from college).
How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?
The state of Texas assigns a percentage of the paying parent’s net income to be paid as child support. That percentage varies depending on how many children that parent supports and is calculated based on a maximum net income of $7500 a month.
If the individual supports one child, 20% of that person’s net income should be paid as child support. If the number of children supported is two, that number increases to 25%. Three children require 30% of the obligor’s income, and four children require 35%. The percentage increases to 40% for five children or more. If the parent making the support payments earns more than $7500, it is at the court’s discretion to require higher monthly payments if they believe it would be for the child’s best interests.
Will I Have to Pay More Child Support If I Start Making More Money?
Many parents who pay child support worry about their payment amount being increased after receiving a promotion at work or going through a life event that produces a significant increase in their net income. However, any changes to a child support order must be authorized by the court – and unless your ex initiates a modification request, your payment amount may remain unchanged.
Likewise, if your financial situation worsens due to unemployment, illness, or disability, for example, you may request the court to lower the amount of child support payments you need to make. Both you and your spouse may initiate modification requests for many reasons, but because the court assumes that all decisions made when the final child support order was signed are presumed to be correct and in favor of the child’s best interests, you will likely need to prepare a strong argument to convince the court that your modification request is in fact necessary.
If your child’s needs have changed due to a new-found illness or disability that requires more extensive healthcare benefits and results in higher expenses, the custodial parent of the child may request a modification to better accommodate for the new situation. Working with a Rockport child support attorney is extremely important for a modification request to have better chances of being accepted by the court.
When Is It Necessary to See a Child Support Lawyer?
In the middle of a heated divorce, it may be hard to keep a clear mind and make the right decisions without giving up your rights. Sometimes, the other side may be making unreasonable demands and pressuring you to accept their terms. Other times, you may be already in a financially difficult situation and have to deal with a noncustodial parent who is not making timely child support payments and disrespecting court orders. All of these situations can be difficult to navigate without the skills of a child support attorney.
In some cases, a child support order may have been calculated incorrectly and may not provide the financial resources your child needs or may place the paying parent’s finances at risk. If you believe your child support order has errors or needs to be adjusted, it is best not to make any changes on your own and contact a child support attorney as soon as possible to learn your options. If you stop making payments or otherwise fail to follow the original child support court order, your modification request may not be viewed favorably by the court.
The Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy is dedicated to helping clients with child support issues in Rockport and surrounding areas. Our legal team has successfully handled countless child support cases from both the custodial and noncustodial parent sides, and you can count on us to provide you with strong legal representation and knowledgeable advice. We know just how overwhelming and emotionally draining child custody and support matters can be, and our team is focused on helping clients resolve their child support issues as efficiently as possible. Contact our Rockport, TX office at (361) 203-7097 to learn more.