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Do you want to Calculate Net Resources for Child Support Payments in Texas?

Child support. No matter if you are a parent paying or receiving child support, this is undoubtedly a stressful subject in your life. As the parent who receives child support, you become stressed out at the first of each month. Are you going to receive the child support you’re due? What about all the past child support that you should have been paid previously? Or are any of these payments ever going to come in? Why won’t your co-parent return your phone calls?

Or, as the parent who pays child support your concerns may be with simply maintaining enough income to pay your child support. Ensuring child support is paid on time and in full is another concern of parents. This feels like a never-ending battle to please a person who does not like you much in the first place. Child support also places a strain on your household budget.  How can you ensure that you pay child support when you are not even confident in your ability to pay your bills each month?

These are the sorts of questions we will be addressing in today’s blog post. However, the specific question we seek to address is calculating net resources for child support payments in Texas. Whether you pay or receive child support this is an important topic. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan will walk you through the subject in hopes of preparing you for what lies down the road.

Child support is paid based on the best interest of your children

One of the things that sometimes gets lost along the way is that child support is not paid for a particular parent. Rather, child support is paid on behalf of your children. As a result, the court considers the best interests of your children before assessing child support. Likewise, you and your co-parent consider the best interests of your children before agreeing to a child support amount in negotiations.

Whether your child support orders came about as a result of negotiation, or courts order the best interest of your child matter. When you are in a bad spot with child support it is easy to forget this. Many parents would benefit from taking a step back and considering their child’s position in all of this. He or she is the one who stands to benefit or be harmed the most from child support. By looking at it from this perspective you can better identify areas to improve upon with your coparent.

The best interests of the child standard is one that courts use across the family law landscape in Texas. Indeed, courts seek to identify the subjects that are most important to your child. A reasonable question to ask would be what factors a court considers most important when looking at the best interests of your child. Here is more information on that.

What does it mean to consider your child’s best interests?

The best interest of the child standard reflects a court’s best attempt at considering all of the relevant factors in the life of your child. Of course, all children are made differently. As a result, what is in your child’s best interest will not necessarily be in your child’s best interest. With that said, this standard is one that courts attempt to utilize to work with you and your co-parent when it comes to decision-making and the life of your child.

The physical safety of your child is critical when determining his or her best interests. Without a doubt, there are circumstances where children find themselves in where they are not safe. This could be because of abuse or neglect in the home. It could also be a situation where an extended family member is a potential source of harm to the child. Finally, there may be other circumstances that involve harm to your son or daughter. Regardless, the well-being of your child considers their physical safety.

Determining emotional components concerning your child is also important. Your son or daughter needs to be able to grow up in an emotionally stable environment. This does not mean that you and your co-parent have to be clinical psychologists. However, it does mean that the two of you need to be patient with your child and allow him or her to grow up in a home that considers their feelings. Again, this is a factor considered by family law courts.

Why is child support paid in the first place? 

Child support reflects the state of Texas’s belief that children are best off when they have two parents to support them. The support is relational, emotional, and financial. If you take part in creating a child you have a role to play in providing for her. We see this when it comes to the shoes involving family law cases. The court is not satisfied with informal or pay-as-you-go child support. Rather, the courts preferred to see and set arrangements for specific child support payments each month.

A common question that the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are asked is whether child support is necessary in every family law case. Any family law case involving minor children will likely contain orders for child support. The obligation to pay child support for a minor child extends to that child’s 18th birthday or high school graduation, whichever occurs later. Understanding this can avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts with a co-parent.

From there, child support is paid to allow both parents to contribute financially to the well-being of their child. As a general statement, child support is based on the net monthly resources of the paying parent. Next, a percentage of that net monthly resource is paid in child support based on the number of children before the court. From this relatively simple calculation, you have a much more complex discussion on child support for the well-being of your son or daughter.

What comprises a person’s monthly resources?

In short, most of your person’s monthly income is considered a part of their monthly resources for child support calculation. Salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, and rental income are all part of a person’s net monthly resources. This is either a straightforward or complex circumstance. On the one hand, it is straightforward when you consider that if you work a standard nine-to-five job then you may not have many other sources of income. Suppose that you work in a salaried position at a well-established company. In that case, determining your gross resources per month is relatively simple. Simply take your salary and that is what you bring in each month as far as income is concerned.

On the other hand, currently, many of us work contract or part-time jobs. This allows greater flexibility when it comes to work-life balance. In many cases, it also allows us to earn more money than we otherwise would considering our limitations on time. In certain instances, working multiple contract jobs may allow us to earn more money than working a single, salaried position. To calculate net resources for child support this does complicate things to an extent. All your income likely counts towards net monthly resources. It is unlikely that a contract job or other source of income would qualify for this calculation.

Paying attention to the details when calculating monthly resources

As a result, the complex nature of these calculations requires an eye for detail. Suppose that you are the parent who receives child support. Wouldn’t you want to know that all sources of income for your co-parent are accounted for? Being able to dig deep, see trends, and decipher clues is a major part of this calculation. This is especially true when you have a co-parent who is not being especially forthright in helping you determine their total income.

Additional considerations for monthly net resources

However, the calculation for child support purposes does not stop there. Once your gross monthly resources are determined certain amounts are taken out to arrive at your net monthly resources. For the most part, this includes things like taxes and health insurance costs. If you belong to a union then those union dues would also be removed. This is relevant if you are part of a trade or are a teacher who belongs to a union.

A deduction that is relevant to this conversation would be child support payments made to other parents. Consider a circumstance where you have multiple child support obligations for multiple children. This would be children from other relationships not currently before the court. Those child support payments would be subtracted from your gross monthly resources. This is done to avoid a situation where you are unable to pay all the child support that you are responsible for. You must be able to have your court orders ready on a day that you know a child support calculation needs to go into effect. 

For instance, if you are trying to represent yourself in a child custody case you should have documentation showing what your child support obligations are. It is much easier to prove to a judge what you pay in child support with a court order than trying to have him or her take your word for it. One of the major lessons when it comes to this calculation of net resources is to have documentation available. This helps facilitate negotiation and provides context for those involved in your case.

Terminology in the world of Texas child support

The law has its language when it comes to the world of Texas family law. Understanding the terminology that the courts use will help you be more prepared. When you feel prepared you gain confidence. With confidence, you can advocate for yourself and your family more effectively. For starters, parents are referred to in the world of child support specifically as custodial and non-custodial parents.

 A custodial parent is the parent who has primary custody of the children. This resembles what many people call full custody. Being able to determine the primary residence of your children is the key to understanding the custodial parent. Because you are with your children more often it follows that you would have superior decision-making capabilities about their day-to-day lives. Part of this is deciding the primary residence of your child. From that, other rights, and duties flow forth such as the right to make educational, psychiatric, and day-to-day living decisions. Important subjects like religion, military service, and even marriage fall under the purview of a custodial parent.

On the other hand, a non-custodial parent is still a conservator of the children. However, if you are your child’s non-custodial parent then you have reduced decision-making authority. For today’s discussion, that looks mostly like not determining the primary residence of your child as well as paying child support. Parents who pay child support should not look at the circumstances as if they lost some sort of custody battle. Non-custodial parents still play an integral role in the life of their children. However, the reality is that non-custodial parents have a responsibility to pay child support as the custodial parent does not.

Preparing to calculate net monthly resources

Having a plan that comes to calculating your net monthly resources is essential. Being able to understand where you need to go and how you need to get there is part of any journey. Unless you have a plan and act intentionally this is not possible. As a result, the better your plan the more equipped you will be to start this journey. In a child support case, this looks like having a very good idea of what your income looks like. Take into consideration all the different sources of income that you have. This may require you to do some digging to find tax documents, pay stubs, or anything else that would help to prove the income that you earn. The more detailed you can be, the better. 

Real estate investors will tell you that a lot of the money they make is made at the buy. When you can find a good house at a good price, perhaps even undervalued, this is where you stand to start making money on your investment. This may come as a shock to some people who would believe that charging higher and higher rent is where money is made. Rather, seasoned veterans of real estate investing will tell you that the foundation for their money-making is made from the moment they make an offer and purchase the property.

Prepare for your case with diligence

A similar comparison can be made to child support. No matter if you are paying or receiving child support, a fair amount of child support is determined in large part by the work performed at the outset of your case. The preparation of compiling documents and performing due diligence helps you. Think of this like an athlete training at 4:00 in the morning. Nobody else is awake at that time. The television cameras are not on. However, this is where an athlete makes progress in accomplishing their goals. You, too, can see to it that your goals are accomplished through work performed when nobody else is watching.

Final thoughts on the calculation of net resources for child support

Remembering that the child support paid goes towards maintaining the well-being of your child is crucial. Parents sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of a family law case. The egos and pride of adults can get in the way of remembering the true purpose of a case. Your children did not ask for you to go through a stressful family law case. They are either at home during your court dates or in school. Their lives are dependent upon you and your co-parent. Everything else in your life pales in importance to handling your circumstances surrounding them.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are inside the courtrooms of Texas every day. We advocate in a professional and upstanding manner for each of our clients. Our clients and their families are at the top of our priority list. We are prepared to be diligent and empathetic to the needs of your family. Thank you for choosing to spend part of your day today here on our blog. We post unique and informative content regarding the world of Texas family law every day. A free-of-charge consultation is just a phone call away. Our attorneys have offices in every major, metropolitan area of Texas.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law. Before signing a document or negotiating on a subject you do not know well, contact our office. We look forward to the opportunity of serving you during an important part of your life. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is on your side. 

Categories: Child Support

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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