Child support is the state’s attempt to ensure that children receive financial support after a divorce. If you have children and you are divorcing, requesting visitation or child custody, your case will likely include child support. Texas law governs when and how child support payments are be made, including determination of the amount of payments made and modifying the amount if needed.
Child Support Guidelines: Calculating Child Support Amounts
Texas child support payments are established under guidelines set by Texas law, calculating a percentage of the paying parent’s net income, unless the parents agree to a different payment amount. The judge who signs the child support order has broad discretion to determine how much child support a parent should pay.
Texas family law guidelines help judges determine child support amounts. The guidelines require the court to tabulate each person’s net monthly resources and order paying parent to pay a portion of that amount to the recipient parent. The guidelines’ standard “a child’s best interest.” For example, if a parent is responsible for paying for one child, he or she must pay 20 percent of his or her net monthly resources. (Special rules apply in cases of split or joint custody or multiple children in different households.)
A child is eligible for child support until he or she is 18 years old or graduates high school, whichever occurs later (or until the child marries, dies, or is declared an adult by court order.) If the child is disabled, the court may order a parent to financially support the child indefinitely.
If a court does not believe that a paying parent is making as much money as he or she is capable of making, it may base the payment amount on the parent’s earning potential (income the paying parent could potentiallyearn).
Role of Texas Attorney General
The Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division assists parents in obtaining child support and enforces child support orders. While parents can apply to the Attorney General for its child support services, it does not represent either parent in the case. Experienced child support attorneys at the Burleson divorce firm of Lovelace Law represent parents seeking child support. They are ready to answer your questions and assist you with legal advice and representation in your child support case.
If you have any additional questions regarding child support, call our office at 817-953-9656 to make an appointment with Cade Lovelace or Jennifer Lovelace for a free consultation.