Do you need answers from an experienced Texas child support attorney? The family law attorneys at Tilton & Tilton can provide you a free consultation in any situation where you expect either to be making or receiving payments for the support of one or more children, including divorce cases, parentage cases, and interstate child support enforcement cases under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. This free consultation can provide you with a solid legal consultation that would benefit you even if you decide to walk away without hiring us.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
In a divorce case, child support obligations are determined either by agreement of the parties or by court order with reference to the Texas Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines specify a somewhat complicated formula based mainly on the income of the parents obligated to pay support and the needs of the child.
Although the divorcing spouses are free to negotiate child support obligations between them, the Family Court judge needs to find that the agreement is in the best interests of the child, and the Guideline amount is legally presumed to be amount that’s in the best interests of the child. If the parents arrive at a different amount, they will need to convince the judge that the amount they’ve agreed upon is in fact in the child’s best interests.
Determining Child Support Amount
The Guidelines are based upon the supporting spouse’s net income, or income after taxes. Child support is calculated as a percentage of net income, for example: 20% for one child, 25% for two, 30% for three children, etc…. Also, child support payments may be reduced depending on whether the obligor has other children to support.
The same Guidelines determine the obligations of a noncustodial unmarried parent. Unlike divorce cases, however, where child custody and parenting time are worked out either by agreement or in a contested court hearing, an unmarried person’s child support obligations do not by themselves imply any formal right to shared custody or visitation. It’s up to that parent to bring a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship in order to have these broader parental rights recognized.
In divorce or parentage cases involving active duty military personnel, all of the nontaxable allowances and benefits shown on the Leave and Earnings Statement are considered as income in calculating Texas child support payments, which can very substantially increase the amount of the obligation.
Modifying Child Support Payments
Child support payments can be modified on the basis of substantially changed circumstances, but these will generally not include periods of voluntary unemployment or underemployment. For reliable answers from a knowledgeable child support lawyer on any question arising from divorce or paternity, contact our family law lawyers at 713-774-8600 today.