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Texas Child Support Appeals

A Guide to Appealing Texas Child Support Guidelines

Potential clients often visit our office inquiring about texas child support appeals, expressing dissatisfaction with the outcome. They seek advice on possible next steps. Our attorneys, with their deep understanding of child support cases, are ready to assist and guide you through the process.

Texas Child Support Calculation

In Texas, child support calculations adhere to a specific formula mandated by the Texas Family Code. This formula is based on the rebuttable presumption that applying the statutory child support guidelines aligns with the best interests of the children. However, circumstances may warrant a deviation from these guidelines to better serve the individual needs of each case.

Number of Children

Support Percentage

1

20%

2

25%

3

30%

4

35%

Texas Child Support Appeals: Deviation from Standard Formula

Texas law, specifically Section 154.123 of the Texas Family Code, allows for deviations from the standard child support guidelines under certain circumstances. Authorities consider these adjustments when they deem adherence to the standard formula unjust or inappropriate for the case at hand.

Key Considerations for Deviation

The court evaluates several factors to determine if a deviation is warranted:

  • Child’s Needs: Age and specific needs of the child.
  • Parental Contribution: Financial ability of parents to support the child.
  • Financial Resources: Available resources for child support.
  • Custody and Access: Time spent and access each parent has with the child.
  • Obligee’s Resources: Obligee’s net resources and earning potential, factoring in unemployment or underemployment.
  • Child Care Expenses: Costs incurred by either parent for employment-related child care.
  • Custody of Other Children: Managing conservatorship or custody of other children by either party.
  • Alimony/Spousal Maintenance: Amount being paid or received by a party.
  • Education Expenses: Costs for education beyond secondary school.
  • Employment Benefits: Automobile, housing, or other benefits from employment.
  • Income Deductions: Deductions from wage or other compensation.
  • Healthcare Provision: Insurance and uninsured medical expenses.
  • Special Expenses: Extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses.
  • Travel Costs: Expenses for travel to access the child.
  • Property and Asset Cash Flow: Financial impact of properties, businesses, and investments.
  • Debts: Debts or debt service taken by either party.
  • Other Relevant Factors: Any other aspect in the child’s best interest.

This framework ensures a fair evaluation of each parent’s situation in determining child support, always prioritizing the child’s best interest and unique family circumstances.

How to Appeal the Child Support Ruling?

A Guide to Appealing Texas Child Support Guidelines

In Texas, child support hearings occur under the Office of the Attorney General, presided over by a Master (associate Judge), who is not an elected Judge. Texas Family Code 201.015 grants you the right to appeal the Master’s decision, provided you act within three days following the final hearing

Essential Steps for an Appeal

Request a De Novo Hearing: You must submit a formal request for a de novo hearing, clearly outlining the issues you plan to present to the referring court.

File with the District Clerk’s Office: After preparing the request, file it at the District Clerk’s Office.

Notify Involved Parties: Ensure to send notice of the de novo hearing request to the other parent and the Attorney General involved in the case.

Conducting the De Novo Hearing

During the de novo hearing, the following procedures take place:

Presentation of Witnesses: You and the other parties may present witnesses to testify on the specified issues outlined in your hearing request.

Consideration of Previous Records: The referring court may review the record from the hearing before the associate judge, including any jury instructions and verdicts.


The referring court is obligated to schedule and conduct a de novo hearing no later than 30 days after receiving your initial request for such a hearing. This timeline is crucial for ensuring a timely review of the appeal.

Who Can Appeal the Ruling?

A Guide to Appealing Texas Child Support Guidelines

Any party can file an appeal which includes:

  1. Mom,
  2. Dad, or
  3. the Attorney General.

Our child support lawyers can help you with the time-sensitive nature of child support appeals and can act quickly to ensure that all deadlines are met. Child support findings provide our lawyers with information to help argue your case for a favorable outcome. As with most cases in which children are involved the court will be most interested in what is in the best interest of the children.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC in Houston help parents bring and defend child support appeals. We are ready to take on the challenge of your child support appeal for the best possible outcome.

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Child Support Ebook

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  3. What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
  4. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  5. Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
  6. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  7. Why Ignoring Child Support Obligations is a Bad Idea in Texas
  8. Texas Child Support – Trust and Annuities
  9. Special Needs Children in Texas Child Support Cases
  10. How to get above guideline child support.
  11. Handling a child support case as the non custodial parent, Part Five
  12. The benefits of hiring an attorney to represent you in a child support case
  13. How to handle child support as the non custodial parent, Part Three
  14. Child Support Payments in Texas: How to Make them and Why
  15. Can my Texas Driver’s License Be Suspended for Not paying Child Support?

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fight child support in Texas?

Your options for contesting child support in Texas typically involve seeking a modification through the court. You can present evidence of significant changes in circumstances.

Can you contest child support in Texas?

Yes, you can contest child support in Texas. If you believe your child support order is no longer appropriate due to substantial changes, you can request a modification from the court.

Can child support be negotiated in Texas?

Child support is determined using a formula in Texas. However, parents can sometimes negotiate an agreement outside of court, as long as it meets the child’s best interests and follows state guidelines.

How do I dispute child support arrears in Texas?

If you believe there is an error in your child support arrears, you should contact the child support agency and provide evidence to support your claim. They can help you resolve discrepancies.

How do I get out of paying child support in Texas?

Getting out of paying child support is generally not an option if you are legally obligated. To modify or terminate child support, you’ll need to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances.

Can a parent waive child support in Texas?

Child support is the right of the child, and parents cannot waive it in most cases. Courts typically enforce child support orders to ensure the child’s well-being.

What is the minimum child support in Texas?

The minimum child support amount in Texas varies depending on factors like the number of children and the obligor’s income. It’s important to consult the state’s guidelines or a legal expert for precise figures.

Can a mother cancel child support in Texas?

Child support obligations are typically determined by court orders, not individual decisions. A mother or custodial parent cannot unilaterally cancel child support without going through the legal process.

How often is child support reviewed in Texas?

Courts can periodically review child support orders upon request or if there is a substantial change in circumstances. It’s advisable to consult with your attorney or the child support agency for specific details.