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What You Need to Know About: Child Support in Texas

What You Need to Know About: Child Support in Texas

In Texas, navigating the intricacies of child support can be complex, but understanding the essentials is crucial for parents. This blog breaks down key aspects such as calculation methods, enforcement measures, and modification procedures to ensure you’re well-informed and prepared.

Addressing Child Support Concerns: Insights from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Many potential clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC come into our office for a consultation and have a concern about one subject in particular prior to engaging in a divorce or child custody case: child support.

These potential clients (mostly men, I must say) have typically heard horror stories from friends, co-workers and everyone in between about how their ex-spouse or ex-whomever has taken them to the cleaners in the realm of child support. Maybe you find yourself sitting in your living room reading this blog post and thinking that you can relate.

I will say this first, on behalf of all of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC: be careful who you listen to and be wary to believe every word of what your advice-giver has to say. Misery, as they say, loves company and some of the most miserable people you will ever meet have a child support horror story to tell.

My point in writing this specific introduction is to tell you that you do not have to count yourself among those with this type of history with child support. Whether you ultimately end up on the paying or receiving end of child support having some knowledge of the subject before engaging in a family law case in Texas can be very important.

Child Support Is a Way to Share the Burden of Raising a Child

What You Need to Know About: Child Support in Texas

In a divorce or child custody case, the court will name one parent as the primary conservator of the child. The primary conservator has two main differences in their rights as compared to the non-primary parent.

The first is that he or she has the ability to determine the primary residence of the child. The second is that because the child will be spending more time with him or her, they will be able to receive child support from the other parent.

The fact is that one parent or the other is going to pay child support. The non-primary parent will typically pay both child support and health insurance for the child in almost all instances. This can be the case if the child is the product of a twenty-year marriage or a one-night encounter.

A former client of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC came to our office one afternoon telling one of our attorneys that he had had a onetime interaction with a woman he met and that now that woman had contacted him (strangely enough about nine months later) telling him that he was a father.

This client understood that he had a responsibility and was not going to avoid it. The parties attended a mediation session where issues of child support, conservatorship and visitation were all settled without ever having to enter a courtroom.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Texas calculates child support as a percentage of the non-primary parent’s net resources, starting at 20%. For each additional child up to five, the parent’s monthly responsibility increases by five percent, capping at 40% of their net monthly income towards their children’s support.

Children Not Before the Court

When a parent has other children not involved in the current court case determining their child support, the law grants a credit to the owing parent for each uninvolved child. For each child not before the court, the parent receives a 2.5% credit on the child support percentage owed.

For instance, consider a father with two children in a current family law case and one child from a previous relationship not involved in the case. According to statutory guidelines, this father would owe 25% of his net resources for support. However, with the other child not before the court, he only needs to pay 22.5% of his net resources towards supporting his two children.

Child Support Cap

It is important to note that the current income cap for child support calculations is $8,550. Any income above this level does not apply to child support calculations.

Above or Below Guidelines Support

What You Need to Know About: Child Support in Texas

Calculating child support according to the guidelines generally serves the child’s best interests. However, if a party wishes to deviate from this statutorily based determination, they must produce evidence to persuade the court. For example, if a child has special needs requiring additional support, a court might impose higher than guideline support. Similarly, if the parent receiving child support assumes a significant portion of marital debt, there could be a case for above guideline support.

Conversely, if a parent incurs substantial expenses to maintain visitation with the child or agrees to cover additional costs in raising the child, it may be possible, though unlikely, to secure less than the statutorily mandated child support levels.

The subject of child support is so important and the questions our attorney receive are so many that another blog post (or possibly two) on the subject with be forthcoming in the next few days. Be sure to check back in with our blog to continue to learn more about this subject.

As always, if you have questions about the subject matter in one of these posts please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Consultations with one of our family law attorneys are available six days a week and are free of charge.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Texas Child Support Enforcement
  2. Can my Texas Driver’s License Be Suspended for Not paying Child Support?
  3. What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
  4. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  5. Texas Child Support Appeals
  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.

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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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