Child Support

13 posts

Making changes in Child Support in Texas

Must-Know Facts About Modifying Child Support in Texas

The guidelines for child support changes in Texas can be found in the Texas Family Code. There are rules that are strictly imposed when it comes to making child support changes in Texas. There are many factors that can lead to changes in the child support amount. These factors can include a significant increase or in a decrease in income. Child support changes in Texas must be done officially, with the judge’s approval. No matter how much you want to settle the matter outside of the court, it is still ideal to make the changes official for your financial security. If you make the changes outside of the court, sealing it with a handshake between you and your ex-spouse, the other party could go back on their word anytime, and you could suffer financially. True, it would be possible for that arrangement to work for a certain period of time, but you wouldn’t have the legal security for the future. Imagine when your spouse would suddenly have financial issues in the future or when some medical bills or major extracurricular expense would come up. It would be an extremely difficult time if your ex-spouse would suddenly decide not to honor […]

rumors about child support

Busting Myths and Rumors About Child Support in Texas

The area of family law that a lot of people are concerned about is the part that deals with child support. In a divorce, it’s unavoidable for both parents to worry about finances. It is common for the parent who needs to provide child support and the one on the receiving end of it to worry about it equally at the same time. As a parent, you will also worry about your rights and how and to what extent you should exercise it. You might hear a lot of rumors and myths from family members and friends who have been through it before or have heard about child support issues from others. They might want the best for you, but it does not necessarily mean that they can give you sound advice that you can really count on. You might voluntarily ask them for advice, but you can never know how accurate the advice you’d be getting unless they’re from legal experts skilled where family law is concerned. The thing with family law is that it changes quickly. What might have been true at that time your cousin had a divorce and had issues with child support may no longer […]

signing Texas divorce forms

Why You Should Be Careful When Signing Texas Divorce Forms

There are many people who are getting a divorce but are choosing not to hire a Texas divorce attorney. Most of the time, it is because they underestimate the situation, thinking that it’s too simple to be needing a divorce lawyer’s advice. They also think that hiring an attorney is a waste of money because of the sheer simplicity of their case. However, this is a misconception. There are many people undergoing a divorce who end up losing a lot of money just because they failed to hire a divorce lawyer to guide them properly through the divorce process. In a divorce, sometimes, the most expensive mistake you can make is not in paying for a divorce attorney but in choosing not to hire one. In divorce cases, there are several documents and forms that need to be signed. These could easily be overlooked and even misunderstood if you are not equipped with the guidance of a divorce lawyer. Although everything may seem easy enough, you might be surprised by the financial consequences such forms and documents will burden you with – a few years later. Signing a Waiver of Service Signing this document means that you do not have […]

Texas Paternity FAQ

Texas Paternity FAQ

Frequently Asked Legal Questions About Paternity in Texas There are a lot of questions about paternity in Texas that get asked regularly.  We wanted to save people a little bit of googling and try answer as few of the most common ones in one place.  This guide to the frequently asked legal questions about paternity in Texas is meant to aid you but not to replace the role of an attorney. Define Paternity For Me? When a baby is born and there are questions about the father, you seek to establish paternity.  Paternity is, therefore, the legal identification of who the father of a child is.  This process is typically done through genetic matching of the child’s DNA to the father’s DNA. Is Paternity Testing Only Performed On Babies? While paternity testing is typically performed on babies it has been used to test kids of any age.  This helps to establish who the father is no matter what the situation is. Can You Force A Paternity Test? The short answer is yes, you can force a paternity test.  To do this you need to petition the court for a court ordered paternity test.  This order can also include conditions for what […]

Texas Primary Custody

Deciphering Texas Primary Custody

Does Primary Custody Exist? Usually a misnomer due to its frequency in popular culture, “primary custody” is not an actual legal term recognized in Texas. Texas courts will typically appoint both parents as “joint managing conservators” or “JMCs” for their children, and what people commonly refer to as “primary custody” tracks most closely with the party who is granted an exlusive right to determine “primary residency” of the child. To better understand this concept, I find it helpful to think about all the different rights and duties of a parent as strands of a rope. Prior to court involvement, all those rights and duties are “together” unified with both parents. Both parents have the full complement of rights and duties at all times, and neither parent has any authority to stop the other from exercising those rights, or conversely the obligation to take any particular action in regards to the child. There are pros and cons to this situation, but the main downside, and the one that the court most specifically tries to address, is that in the event of a disagreement there is no clear way to make a decision or to break a tie. If parents are on […]

A Quick Guide to Divorce

Texas Divorce Overview

  Texas Divorce Overview   Everyone іѕ fаmіlіаr wіth the wоrd dіvоrсе but dоеѕ not know thе technicalities about it. It is іmроrtаnt thаt wе should bе able tо knоw things about dіvоrсе аnd whаt are thе thіngѕ thаt wе ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr about when people аrоund us or ѕресіfісаllу uѕ іnѕtеаd are planning tо еngаgе into thіѕ kіnd оf situation. Yоu ѕhоuld fіrѕt know whаt rеаllу dіvоrсе іѕ tо have a dеереr perception about this dіѕеаѕе іn thе community that іѕ not only ruіnіng thе lives оf the husband and wіfе but аlѕо thе реорlе thаt аrе іnvоlvеd in thе marriage, tоо. Aссоrdіng tо Wikipedia, “Dіvоrсе (оr the dіѕѕоlutіоn оf mаrrіаgе) іѕ the fіnаl termination of a mаrіtаl union, саnсеllіng the lеgаl dutіеѕ аnd responsibilities оf mаrrіаgе аnd dissolving the bonds оf mаtrіmоnу bеtwееn thе раrtіеѕ.” It is іmроrtаnt that we ѕhоuld bе able tо know thаt dіvоrсе іѕ not just mеrе breaking up but also hаvіng a permanent separation with the person thаt уоu have married. A divorce fоllоwѕ a ѕеt of court hеаrіng іn which they would dіѕсuѕѕ all thе thіngѕ thаt a mаrrіаgе controls, from thе kids to the fіnаnсеѕ would bе a ѕubjесt mаttеr in a […]

Texas Child Support Net Resource

Texas Child Support Calculation

Child Support Monthly Net Resources I get a lot of people coming into my office confused about exactly what income counts for the purpose of determining child support. The answer is usually pretty much everything that can be proved as income counts for calculating child support, but there are a few limited exceptions to that. In order to determine the amount of child support under statutory guidelines, Texas law applies a percentage formula to the “monthly net resources” of one parent or conservator ( the “obligor”). The percentage changes based on the number of children involved starting at 20% for the first child, and increasing by 5% per child after that until the maximum value. That part is simple enough, however the monthly net resource number to multiple that percent by is a little bit more complicated for a variety of reasons. Child Support Income Inclusions In general, your child support monthly net resources are the sum of all sources of income or assets from which income could be derived in a given year. Thus, “net resources” includes your salary, wages, tips, commissions, overtime pay, bonuses or any other compensation received for your personal services. This “net resources” calculation applies […]

Texas Child Support Guidelines

Texas Child Support Guidelines

Child support calculations are one of those areas that people end up very confused about, leading to a wide variety of various calculators and tools for the purpose of determining what the guideline amount of child support should be set by the court. For the vast majority of cases, child support is calculated strictly according to this formula, and effectively is just a math equation to determine the amount owed each month. However, there are some rare occasions where the guideline amount of child support is not an appropriate amount, and in those situations the court does some some authority to deviate from traditional child support guidelines. It is important to be aware of all the different factors the court uses in determining the amount of child support owed as the “obligor.”  Although the amount of child support based on the statutory percentage applied to an obligor’s monthly net resources is a presumption, the court has discretion to vary from the Texas statutory  guidelines, upwards or downwards, based on relevant factors. These factors are known as “the best interest of the child factors” and the court’s discretion in deviation from the statutory guidelines is broad and considers the totality of […]

Child Support Withholding

How to Understand An Order/Notice to Withhold Income

If you have received an “Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support,” you must not disregard the document. This notice should be handled immediately as a Texas employer who knowingly fails to withhold court-ordered child support may be subject to a $200 fine for each pay period during which it failed to withhold income and remit child support to the appropriate agency. Additionally,  under Section 158.206 of the Texas Family Code, the employer who complies with the Order/Notice is not liable to the employee. However, as an employer it is imperative that you check your payroll records because Texas law mandates that you may not withhold more than 50% of your employee’s “disposable earnings.” Disposable earnings are the part that remains after mandatory deductions for medicare, federal income taxes, social security, union dues, nondiscretionary retirement contributions, and medical/hospitalization/disability insurance coverage for the employee and the employee’s children. There is a possibility that the Order/Notice could incorrectly exceed that amount and in that case seek guidance from your trusted family law attorney or another professional in human resources. Additionally, issues holding up a withholding order does not absolve the obligee from their responsibility to pay in the meantime. It is ultimately the […]

Child Support and Debtor's Prisons

Time limitations on enforcement of child support arrears

Many people assume that the attorney general stops enforcing child support arrears when the child turns 18. Often, however, this is not the case, and can lead to some scary situations for people who are unprepared. In Texas, the law states that the court maintains their jurisdiction for up to 2 years after the obligation ends. That means that an enforcement action can be filed well after the actual child support obligation ends, and even further than that, the action itself can stretch years longer. I just argued a case recently where an enforcement action was filed barely within the 2 year deadline, but they were not able to serve the non-custodial parent for almost another 2 years. This meant that I was in front of a judge arguing for why my client should not be sent to jail for repayment of a debt to a parent with whom the child no longer lived, and did not support the child in any way. The silver lining for my client was that he was determined to be fully disabled and was on veteran’s disability and the judge refrained from enforcing a jail sentence, but it was a scary situation for my […]