Child Support Overview for Texas families

Are you a parent who is about to embark on a divorce journey, yet have no real idea how to think about child support? It could be that you are the parent who stands to receive child support from an ex-spouse.

On the other hand, the shoe could be on the other foot- you may be the parent who is on the hook to pay child support during and after the divorce. This is a huge financial commitment that you either have the right to receive or to pay. As a result, your not knowing the fundamentals on this subject can make a big difference in the well being of your family.

The next few blog posts from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC will discuss this subject with parents like yourself. We will walk through the calculation of child support, what a “guidelines” level of support is and the steps to modify a child support order- either downwards or upwards.

If at any point during the process of reading this blog post you have questions about a topic that you’ve read please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC.

A free of charge consultation is yours in which one of our licensed family law attorneys can answer any questions you may have on this subject. We take pride in addressing the concerns of the people that live in our community and welcome the opportunity to do so for you and your family.

How does a court determine the level of support that a person has to pay in child support?

I will caution you at this stage that it is unlikely that your divorce or child custodycase actually goes before a judge to have the issues of your case decided. The reason for this is that mediation is prescribed before trial and possibly even temporary orders in a case. Point being is that you are forced to attempt to settle your case before ever stepping foot in a courtroom.

With that being said, when we discuss what a court would “order” in terms of child support I don’t necessarily mean that the judge will be looking over your shoulder like some sort of omnipresent being. Rather, I mean what your attorney and the opposing party’s attorney would likely determine to be your child support liability based on your income. Make sense?

At its core, a family law court in Texas is charged with placing the best interests of your child first and foremost when determining a level of child support to order.

While our egos as adults can get in the way of a lot of things, make no mistake that a judge will primarily be concerned with what happens with your child until he or she turns 18 or graduates from high school. Your concerns and your opposing party’s concerns take a distant backseat to the well being and best interests of your child.

What does Net Resources mean exactly?

Child support in Texas is calculated based off of your net resources. Before you get worked up over the words “net” and “resources” I’ll warn you that this blog is not going to become a financial or in-depth math lesson, so breathe easy. I will let you know how a court would likely calculate your net resources.

First and foremost, any and all wages and salary from places of employment are included as well as self-employment income. From there “extras” like:

  1. retirement income
  2. rental income
  3. capital gains and
  4. income from other sources

are added together and counted as sources from which a court can determine net monthly income. For most of us, our wages and salaries are what will go into the calculation since the latter sources are not relevant for most parents with young children (based on my experiences).

What if you’re not working? How will your responsibility for child support be determined?

In the event that you are not currently working, you will not get off scot-free in terms of your responsibility to pay child support.

In the event that you are not able to settle your case and proceed to a trial, a judge would presume that you:

  1. earn a salary that is equal to a forty hour work week
  2. wherein you are paid minimum wage based on whatever the federal hourly rate for that wage is at the time of your trial.

Unemployment or Underemployment

Suppose that you are the party that is likely to have to pay child support as a result of your family law case. You know this and anticipate an order coming down from a court that could really restrict your flexibility in terms of spending money.

Being a quick thinker you purposely cut back on your working or take a job that pays you less- just to stick it to your soon to be ex-spouse. Aside from the fact that you are actually hurting your children the most- is this a move that you can pull without the threat of repercussion?

In a word- no. If your income is less than what you should be able to earn (based on education, work experience, wages of a typical worker in your field, etc.) due to your purposefully being unemployed or underemployed then your earning potential may be taken into consideration for a child support calculation, rather than your actual income.

More on underemployment as well as the levels of child support to be posted tomorrow

In our blog post tomorrow we will continue to discuss the concept of underemployment and its impact on your child custody or divorce case. Finally, we will get into the meat and potatoes of the percentage of an owing parent (obligor’s) income that is subject to going towards child support.

We thank you for your time and consideration in reading today’s important blog post. We hope that you all will return tomorrow to do the same. If you have friends or family members who may be interested in this topic please be sure to let them know that we are here to help provide answers to questions and concerns.


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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, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Support Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child support, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX child support lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child support lawyersin 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, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles child support cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, 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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