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Texas Family Law Courts: Child Support

When the subject of child support is raised with a person going through a divorce, they are sure to have an opinion. If you are the person who is going to be on the hook for paying child support, you likely think that the amount that you will have to pay is too much. That's not to say that you don't believe supporting your child is a good idea or that you don't love your child. It's just that being made to pay money directly to your ex-spouse can cause mixed emotions about the subject.

On the other hand, if you are the parent who is set to receive child support due to a divorce, you likely think the guidelines set forth by our State Legislature leave a lot to be desired. You're losing an entire income due to your divorce, and a smaller amount of support from your ex-spouse is supposed to make all that better? Has anyone taken a look at what daycare costs nowadays?

Regardless of your perspective or position regarding child support, there is information out there that we need to talk about. I'm not here to sway your opinion on the subject whatsoever. Today, my goal is to present the facts and a little of my personal experience with handling child support matters for clients in family law cases. You can form your own opinions based on that information.

What will you stand to receive (or pay) in child support as a result of your divorce?

As I mentioned a moment ago, the Texas Family Code has specific guideline amounts of child support that are to be paid by one parent to the other to help support a child. The "net resources" of the paying parent are subject to the following percentages when it comes to child support:

-20% of net resources for one child

-25% of net resources for two children

-30% of net resources for three children

-35% of net resources for four children

-40% of net resources for five children

If you are the parent of more than five children, you can expect to pay no less than 40% but no more than 50% of your total net resources in monthly child support. This last section's most frequently used word was "net resources." What exactly does this term refer to?

Net Resources defined regarding child support.

To calculate a person's child support obligation, Net resources include salary, overtime, tips, commissions, bonuses, self-employment income, retirement benefits, and even unemployment benefits. From these sources of income, social security taxes, federal income taxes, and health insurance costs for the child(ren) will be subtracted to arrive at your net resources.

While I just laid out net resources as a concept in two sentences, it is essential to note that the calculation of this figure can be a much-debated component of your divorce. This is especially true if either you or your spouse (whichever will be responsible for paying child support) has multiple sources of income. In this case, it is critical to have an experienced attorney in helping clients calculate child support based on various sources of revenue. Whether you are attempting to increase or decrease a child support figure, having an attorney to assist can make a huge difference for you.

How is child support paid?

Wage withholding orders are typically filed along with the other "Closing" documents to your divorce. This wage withholding order identifies you as the paying parent responsible for child support and is sent to the court for the judge's signature. Once received, it will be forwarded to your employer, and the amount of child support you owe will be deducted on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

This is good for both the paying spouse and the receiving spouse. The paying spouse does not have to worry about falling behind (supposing that you maintain employment) in paying child support. It's one less thing to have to think about. If your child's other parent has a problem with the amount of child support that has been paid, all you have to do is point to the ledger maintained by the Attorney General's Office. The truth is in black and white. Instead of making payments directly to your ex-spouse, your costs will filter through the Child Support Disbursement Office for the Attorney General.

If you are the parent who receives child support, a wage withholding order keeps you from having to ask your ex-spouse for child support each month directly. Furthermore, you will not be receiving partial or missed payments with an order in place. It is entirely out of your spouse's hands assuming that they maintain employment at the employer who holds the wage withholding order.

Likewise, if you have to take your ex-spouse back to court for an enforcement hearing regarding missed child support payments, all you and your attorney would have to do is access your child support payment records online and see just how far behind your ex-spouse is. These causes of action are pretty straightforward as far as enforcement cases are concerned, and the wage withholding order assists a great deal in this regard.

Questions regarding child support? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today.

It is understandable to have questions regarding an important and complex subject like child support. If you want more information about child support, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today. One of our licensed family law attorneys is available six days a week to meet with you in a free-of-charge consultation. We can answer your questions and provide you with information about our office's services as a client of ours.

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Other Articles you may be interested in regarding Houston Court Local Rules:

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  4. Texas Family Law Courts: Beginning the Divorce Process
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our 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 the 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 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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