If you’re a parent facing divorce, a Texas child support order is one of the issues with which you’re likely to contend. It’s important to get to know the child support laws in Texas and to understand how the process works.
This way you are aware of both your rights and your responsibilities. Plano family law lawyers can offer representation and legal guidance to parents facing these issues under child support laws in Texas.
Basics of Texas Child Support Orders
Child support exists to make sure that children’s needs are provided for by both of their parents so that they don’t suffer undue hardship. When a couple has a child they must provide food, shelter and other necessities to the child until he or she reaches a certain age (usually 18), or gets married. These responsibilities continue whether the parents are together or not.
Child support usually becomes a legal issue during a divorce, but it can also be pursued separate from a divorce proceeding. When a child support case is decided, the judge will issue a support order.
This order is a legally binding document that lays out the amount and schedule of support payments. In a divorce case, the child support details are part of the overall divorce decree. Plano family law lawyers can represent clients and offer guidance when establishing these agreements.
How Child Support Amounts Are Determined on Texas Child Support Orders
Child support is determined as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. According to §154.125 of the Texas Family Code, the Texas child support order may require payment equal to the following percentages:
• 20 percent for one child;
• 25 percent for two children;
• 30 percent for three children;
• 35 percent for four children;
• 40 percent for five children; and
• not less than 40 percent for six children.
This formula is just a guideline and applies to non-custodial parents whose income is less than $7,500 per month. A Plano family law lawyer may offer more detailed estimates of child support payments based on the parents’ net incomes.
Parents are also free to create their own child support agreements in which they decide together how much the non-custodial parent will pay. Regardless of how the child support order or agreement is worked out, under child support laws in Texas it is legally binding once it is approved by a judge.
Modifying Texas Child Support Orders
In some instances, a parent may find that he or she needs to modify a Texas child support order. This can happen for a number of reasons, but in order for the courts to approve a modification, you need to show that there have been material changes to your situation since the creation of the original order.
These changes generally need to affect the parent’s financial situation; for example, if the non-custodial parent loses his or her job or faces unforeseen medical problems. Other circumstances that may qualify as material changes may include custody changes (the child begins to live with the non-custodial parent), and a parent’s military deployment.
To avoid being in violation of child support laws in Texas, those ordered to pay child support should continue to make payments until a new order is issued. Do not rely on verbal agreements, and contact Plano family law lawyers for help modifying an order.
Plano Family Law Lawyers Can Offer Help with Child Support Laws in Texas
Legal counsel can be vital during matters related to child custody or child support. Changing or establishing a child support order requires proper legal process. Simply telling the court or your Plano family law lawyer about changes in circumstances won’t do.
Parents dealing with these issues under child support laws in Texas may seek the counsel of an attorney to help fill out and file the appropriate paperwork and for consultation regarding legal guidance related to Texas child support orders.