Often, once a
divorce is initiated, a
need for support arises for the custodial parent (the one with whom the child or children
primarily reside). A common question that clients in this situation ask
is “Can I get
child support while my
divorce is pending?” The answer is yes, and there are a few ways for child support
to be ordered while a divorce is pending, through the use of
temporary orders. Temporary orders can mandate that temporary child support should be awarded.
What are Temporary Orders?
Temporary Orders are an order issued by a judge, or agreed to by the parties, that takes
effect for the duration that a family law case in pending. Often, temporary
orders are negotiated, agreed, and signed voluntarily by the parties.
Once the order is signed by the parties, it is filed to the court and
signed by the judge. If the parties cannot agree on their own, some courts
require that the parties attend mediation and attempt to come to an agreement
in that way, before being allowed to schedule a
temporary orders hearing in front of a judge.
What if we can’t agree?
If the parties are unable to come to an agreement over the terms of the
temporary orders, a party may file a petition or
motion for temporary orders and there must be a hearing in front of a judge. A temporary orders hearing
can feel like a trial, as the hearing usually involves testimony and evidence.
Witnesses may be called and cross-examined, and documents, photos, etc.
can be introduced into evidence.
Once a court has entered the
temporary orders. the parties must abide by them for the duration specified in the order.
Usually it’s until the final order of the court is entered, but
the court has discretion in setting a deadline.
How much will the court order them to pay?
Texas courts use uniform, state-wide guidelines to calculate child support
payments. For child support purposes, the definition of “income”
includes wages, salary, commissions, tips, overtime, and bonuses, all
added up to determine gross income. Net income is then calculated by subtracting
certain items from the parent’s gross income, including social security
taxes, state and federal income tax, union dues and health insurance premiums
for the children.
Once you have the net income, apply it to the guidelines based on the number
of children that need support, as follows:
Number of Children Before the Court
Percentage of Net Resources
More than 40%
What happens if my spouse doesn’t pay?
temporary order for support is as enforceable as a final order – whether it was signed as agreed,
or ordered through hearing. Usually, court orders will be enforceable
by contempt proceedings. If the party is found to be in contempt of the
court order, the judge can issue a fine, a jail sentence, or both.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Getting Ready for a Hearing On Temporary Custody Orders
- Temporary Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders in Texas
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and