Income withholding order in Texas

Child support is a subject that receives a lot of attention in a Texas divorce. Exchanging money between ex-spouses is a topic that is full of intrigue. Emotions tend to rise to the surface when problems occur regarding this important subject. Avoiding those problems is the name of the game when it comes to Texas child custody and divorce cases. Adding to the uncertainty of being able to receive child support you have a topic worth reading more about. 

Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is all about child support. Specifically, we are going to focus on the nitty-gritty details which are often overlooked. Before you set out on your life after a divorce or child custody case, we suggest you stick around. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is going to share with you some details about child support which stands to help you and your family. 

We know that you have a lot of options not only when it comes to child support blogs but also when it comes to family law attorneys. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to help you. We offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. Don’t just stand there with a handful of questions about child support. Contact our attorneys and ask us today. 

Do you have to pay child support in Texas?

This is one of the most common questions that the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan receive. Namely, whether it is mandatory to have child support paid in a Texas family law case. The reality of the situation is that the state of Texas believes it to be in your child’s best interest for both parents to play a meaningful role in their lives. This has to do with physical possession of the children as well as financial support. As a result, you should expect that families have some sort of child support ordered.

There are ways to limit or fine-tune the amount of child support that is paid, however. Understand that child support is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Rather, there are ways for you to negotiate child support which does not involve you paying based on any specific number. Rather, you may negotiate for a specific amount of child support which is based upon the circumstances of your case.

More than anything else, this is an important part of understanding the essentials of child support. Namely, a codebook, judge, or no one else has the first opportunity to decide the issues in your case. Rather, you and your co-parent have the first and foremost opportunity to settle the issues before you. This is true of child support or any other topic. With that said, finding your middle ground and being able to work through these issues means having a plan.

Developing a plan means focusing on intentionality

Being intentional is one of the single most important parts of developing a strategy in any part of your life. Focusing on what matters most to you and developing a bridge to get from where you are to where you want to go is the key to intentionality. This sounds great and very straightforward. However, the reality of the situation is that it is not quite that simple. There are distractions in a family law case. The rest of your life is still ongoing while the family law case unfolds. The world still turns on its axis even though it feels like your life is being consumed by the family law case.

What does this mean for you and your ability to develop a strategy? If nothing else, it presents you with a great deal of distraction. The distractions in your case eat away at your willingness to spend the necessary energy to develop a strategy. So many people go through a family law case and consider it a success when they simply make it out in one piece. This should not be your goal. Rather, your focus in the family law case should be on serving your family as best as possible.

This begins and ends with your children. When you can serve your children well that provides you with peace of mind. The simple reality of a family law case is that many components impact your life in tangible ways. Being able to provide for your children is a major part of this. We see that families who can financially provide for their children tend to do better. Whether you pay or receive child support it is worthwhile to focus on the small details to benefit your child.

Working with an attorney to assist with child support

Just because the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is a family law attorney’s office doesn’t mean that we are going to promote hiring an attorney in every single type of family law case. The simple truth is that not every family law case demands an attorney be able to represent you. It is conceivable that there are situations where an attorney may not be in your best interest. 

However, there are many situations where hiring an attorney is in your best interests. When you have children who rely upon child support then that certainly would be one of those scenarios. In many ways, it is uncomfortable to rely upon child support. Child support as a means of supporting your family is ideally not the only income you have. However, if you are coming out of a divorce and have not worked in an extended. Then it may very well be your sole source of income.

Now you are put in an even more difficult position. It is natural to want to have everything go perfectly when it comes to the payment of child support. You and your attorney can focus on so many small details during a case. However, once you and your co-parent get into the real world there tends to be problems that arise beyond anyone’s control. With so many factors impacting the payment of child support, it may feel like you are trying to plug 1000 holes in a dam. This begs the question: what should you focus on as the parent who receives child support?

Controlling the controllable

If you are the parent who receives child support then your focus should be on minimizing the likelihood of missed child support payments. Again, in a perfect world, no child support payments will be missed in your case. You and your co-parent will have an open and honest relationship where you share information. There will be no surprises and no hurt feelings along the way. 

While this is an ideal scenario it is not exactly one that plays out very often. With imperfect people in an imperfect world, there are almost surely going to be problems that arise regarding child support. These problems cannot always be controlled. Looking at the case as one where there are several uncontrollable situations can leave you feeling helpless. Almost as if it is not worth the effort to try and set goals in the first place.

This is a defeatist attitude one that the Law Office of Bryan Fagan suggests you stay away from. Rather, look at your family law case as one big opportunity to accomplish great things for your child. Understanding the finer points of child support is a great way to do this. The better you understand your case the more likely it is to be that you can accomplish the most important goals you have set out for yourself. 

Wage withholding orders

A wage withholding order is an unsung hero of Texas child support. When you need child support paid on time and in full each month, turn to a wage withholding order. Wage withholding orders help you make the most of your child support. Instead of wondering how money is going to get from the paycheck of your co-parent to your child, a wage withholding order steps up to the plate. Remember talking about controlling the controllables? A wage withholding order goes to great lengths to help you do exactly that. 

After a family law case, a wage withholding order is created. The name and information for your co-parent’s employer is provided in the wage withholding order. Next, the amount of child support to be paid each month and the frequency with which child support should be withheld out of your paycheck needs to be specified. All of this goes a long way towards helping to ensure child support is paid on time and in full each month.

The wage withholding order is sent to the judge who signs the document before the conclusion of your case. Once signed by the judge it should be returned to the clerk of the court who would then provide it to your co-parent’s employer. That employer would be bound by the terms of the order to withhold the stated amount. From there, the money is sent to the Office of the Attorney General. His office oversees the payment of child support. The goal is to ensure that a neutral, third party can intercede into a child support circumstance if the need presents itself.

Responsibilities of the parent who pays child support

There are a fair number of responsibilities that a non-custodial parent has concerning child support. Using a wage withholding order is not a “set it and forget it” type of situation. Rather, as the non-custodial parent you have the responsibility to ensure that the child support you pay gets to your co-parent. This is a mistake that many parents run into throughout a family law case. Because there are so many mechanisms set up to help with the payment of child support it may be assumed that you bear little personal responsibility for the process.

This could not be further from the truth. Your responsibility is to continue to work with your co-parent even after the completion of your family law case. For example, working with your co-parent looks like you communicating with him or her regularly about child support. Is it being received on time? Are there any issues with communication between the two of you? What are the needs of your child currently?

All of this occurs after a family law case. Do not fall into the trap of assuming that there is no need to have a relationship between you and your co-parent once the family law case is over. Rather, the reality of the situation is that your relationship with your co-parent becomes even more important once you all are living in separate households. Coordinating your efforts to focus on the best interests of your child is what separates the good from great parents.

The best interests of your child

The law in Texas presumes that you are making decisions on behalf of your child that are in his or her best interest. This does not mean that you can’t make a mistake when it comes to parenting. Every one of us who is a parent makes mistakes. However, the law wants you to be able to focus on the best interests of your child no matter what else is going on. Do not lose your attention to detail when it comes to looking out for the best interests of your child.

Some parents will fall into the trap of trying to look out for their own best interests before those of their children are protected. Parents will make the mistake I’m substituting their own best interests in place of their child. This is sometimes done inadvertently. In other words, do not be fooled into making decisions that are really for you more than your children. Instead, be diligent about understanding what the difference between the two is. Sometimes it can be a challenge to separate the two from one another.

The best interests of the child standard look at a range of factors. Your child’s health, safety, emotional development, and education are all prioritized when it comes to their best interest. Nobody knows the best interest of your child more than you and your go parent. This is true even though you and your coherent likely do not agree on much of anything currently. That means that the two of you must be even more intentional about placing your focus on the needs of your child.

Working with your co-parent even when you don’t want to

The bottom line in a child support case is that the needs of your child cannot be met unless you and your co-parent are willing to work together. This cannot be a sometimes or when you feel like it type of thing. Rather, this needs to be an all the time intense focus that the two of you have. The more willing you are to set aside your differences the less likely you are to find out that there are many situations in a child support case that can derail your plans.

Issues like job loss, injury, illness, and a host of other problems are well beyond your immediate control. Almost every family goes through some kind of stress or anxiety because of their case. If you spend all your time focusing on uncontrollable elements of your case, you will quickly find that you only have so much in terms of energy to expand. You are better off placing your focus on elements of your case that truly stand to impact your child daily.

From there, plan out your case as simply as possible. It is not always easy to communicate directly with your co-parent. In some cases, it is more practical to work with your attorney to perform most of the communication. However, in some situations, direct communication with your spouse or co-parent is the best way to go about accomplishing certain goals. With child support, you must act selflessly and in the best interests of your child.

Child support as part of the family law case

Remember, child support may feel like it is the only issue that matters in the case but that is far from the truth. Every topic any family-like case is important and impactful. As a result, you cannot afford to focus all your attention on child support. Instead, be willing to spread your focus evenly across the entire landscape of your case. This serves you and your child well now and into the future.

Considering a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

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.

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Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Today!

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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