Talk to a child support attorney in Richardson about child support in Texas, because it’s a big deal. The order will be in place until your children are 18 in most cases, and some special circumstances, like medical conditions or disabilities, may even call for it to be in place indefinitely. At any rate, properly allocating support is crucial for your children’s well being.
While the courts have guidelines in place for determining which spouse pays support and how much, the process can easily get confusing. Because there is so much at stake when dealing with these rulings, an attorney may help you make sense of the process.
Determining Who Must Pay Child Support
In most every case, the parent who does not have primary custody of the children must pay support. This is because the other parent is likely paying for the bulk of the children’s living expenses. One thing to note, though, is that just because one parent must pay support does not necessarily mean he or she will have shared custody or access to the children.
Determining How Much Child Support One Parent Must Pay
In one aspect, these cases are may be pretty cut and dry. But when the parent paying support makes more than a certain net income every month, there is some wiggle room.
For starters, Texas courts typically use the following guidelines for an “obligor” —parent paying support — earning $7,500 or less net income a month:
- one child – 20% of net monthly income;
- two children – 25% of net monthly income;
- three children – 30% of net monthly income;
- four children – 35% of net monthly income;
- five children – 40% of net monthly income; and
- six children – no less than 40% of monthly income.
When the obligor’s monthly net income is more than $7,500, the same guidelines will be used with one pertinent exception: if the “obligee” — parent receiving support — can prove the children have needs warranting more than the above listed amounts, the other parent may be ordered to pay a higher amount. There are limits on these orders. A child support attorney in Richardson can talk to you more about those specific concerns.
Special Considerations with Support Orders
In most cases, orders follow the state’s guidelines and formulas. There are some instances which require special attention, including:
- adult disabilities, meaning children who may require care and support indefinitely because of physical or mental disabilities;
- health needs, including who is responsible for health insurance, premiums and medical costs; and
- other circumstances, meaning courts may stray from the guidelines if it is in the child’s best interests for a number of reasons.
When special determinations need to be made, the courts will consider your children’s needs, age, and each of your financial situations. If your case comes to this point, having a child support attorney in Richardson who can meet with you regularly and build strong arguments on your behalf can make all the difference in the outcome.
Making Modifications to a Court Order
What happens when the order has already been made and your circumstances change? Maybe you’re the parent caring for your child and he or she has developed serious medical issues that warrant an increase in support. Or perhaps you’re the parent paying support and you have lost a job or endured another unexpected life event that has significantly lowered your income.
Whatever the case, parents who need to modify these orders have two options: either enter into the child support review process (CSRP) and come to an agreement, or request a court hearing, which can take a lot longer.
To get a modification, the current monthly amount must differ by 20 percent or $100 in the amount that would be awarded and at least three years must have passed since the last modification or when the order was first established. Substantial changes in circumstance since the order was made may also warrant a modification.
When you decide to work with an attorney, you don’t have to play a guessing game at important issues regarding awards and modification. Instead, you’ll have someone to guide you every step of the way concerning your best interests, and most importantly, that of your children.
Need an Attorney? We Can Help
At Warren & Migliaccio LLP, we believe family is important. And through our years practicing family and bankruptcy law, we also know that circumstances may come up during your life that necessitates legal help. Child support is one crucial concern during divorce proceedings. We’re here to provide the guidance you need to proactively plan for your future. Call our Richardson law office today at 1-888-584-9614.