Reasons why Child Support in Texas may not follow the Statutory Guidelines

One size fits all is an approach that not only doesn’t work for blue jeans but also in the world of child support. The Texas Family Code has laid out its proscribed levels of child support that for the most part courts adhere to when divvying out child support orders.

Starting at 20% of a parent’s net monthly resources for one child and going up to 40% for five or more children, our State Legislature has proscribed these levels of support as being appropriate for Texas Families. The belief is that even if parents are not living together, each should bear a portion of the burden of raising their child or children.

However, in certain situations a baseline of support simply will not suffice. If you are the parent of a child whose circumstances call for greater than the guideline levels of support as proscribed by State law then this blog post will be of interest for you. In it we will go through the circumstances that may lead a court to believe that an above grade amount of child support is necessary.

Factors for a court to consider whether to award a greater than guidelines amount of child support

A court may decide to award a greater or lesser amount of child support based upon the prevalence of a number of factors a few of which will be laid out as follows. After each I will give a brief example or comment on how each one could be applicable to your family.

Each parent’s ability to contribute to the child’s support

If you are in a situation where your ex spouse earns a much greater income than you do, yet you are the primary conservator of the child a court may believe that it is in the best interest of your child for your ex spouse to pay a higher than guidelines level of support.

The age and needs of the child

The costs associated with raising a child differ at different ages. If your child is starting school at a private school then your circumstances may call for an increased amount of child support.

If you are thinking to yourself that private school is choice when public school is readily available and costs nothing above the taxes you pay to attend, I will let you know that Texas courts have ruled that private school can be factored in when determining what level of child support to award a parent.

Debts taken on by either parent

How the community estate is divided by parents in their divorce can have an impact on the child support award as well. Here, a court may determine that because the primary conservator was awarded more of the debt responsibility from the divorce than the possessory conservator that the amount of child support that is appropriate is greater than what would be typical under the guidelines contained in the Texas Family Code.

Each party’s period of possession and access to the child

Due to distance and other factors, your child may not only live with you primarily but may also spend the majority of their weekends and holidays with you as well. While this is terrific from a time well spent perspective, it can be difficult to care for a child continuously with only a baseline level of child support.

In situations like this your child’s other parent may be expected to pay more in child support in order to make up for the fact that your child is not in his or her possession but a weekend per month or less.

Whether you or your child’s other parent are the managing conservators of other children

This is a factor that could either increase or decrease the amount of child support to be paid. If you are not only the managing conservator of the child before the court but also two other children who are not, your court may review the circumstances a little more stringently to determine if a greater than guidelines level of support is justified.

On the other hand, if your ex spouse is made to pay child support for your child but also has another child to which he or she is the managing conservator then the amount of support you are to receive may actually be less than the guideline level. It is built into the guidelines that even if your ex spouse is not the managing conservator of another child but is responsible for paying support, your amount of child support will be decreased 2.5% for each child not presently before the court

Travel costs associated with exercising possession and access to the child

If your child’s other parent has to travel great lengths and pay a great deal to in order to take advantage of the time awarded to him or her in your divorce decree then the amount of support you receive may be offset by an amount that the court deems to be appropriate. I have never seen this circumstance arise in a case but that’s not to say it isn’t possible.

The bottom line is that the court is charged with acting in the best interests of your child and has a great amount of discretion to deviate from the guideline levels of support as laid out in the Texas Family Code.

Questions about child support in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

To learn more about child support and the factors that are considered when determining a payment amount please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. We realize that your individual circumstance may not have been covered in this blog post and we would be happy to schedule a free of charge consultation to discuss your questions.

One of our licensed family lawattorneys will meet with you, go over your particular situation and can discuss the circumstances that we can offer you and your family.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. How to properly calculate child support in Texas
  2. Is Overtime Pay or Bonus Pay Considered for Texas Child Support?
  3. Child Support in Texas: What is the most you will have to pay and what are the exceptions to that rule?
  4. The Dirty Trick of Quitting Your Job to Avoid Child Support During a Texas Divorce
  5. Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
  6. Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
  7. Can I Sue My Ex for Retroactive or Back Child Support in Texas?
  8. Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
  9. Texas Child Support Appeals
  10. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  11. Why Ignoring Child Support Obligations is a Bad Idea in Texas
  12. Can I get child support and custody of my kids in Texas if we were never married?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring 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 Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Spring 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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