If you have not already done so, please feel free to read yesterday's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, where we began our discussion of medical and child support in Texas. This subject is one that current and former clients of our office are highly interested in. At the same time, there seems to be a lot of misinformation, or at best partial information floating around that, I think a reasonably in-depth discussion is necessary.
What that introduction out of the way, let's talk about how you and your spouse may be able to agree to an amount of child support that deviates from the State's guidelines and how that might be possible to achieve through compromise and negotiation.
Texas Guidelines Support: Do we have to?
I'll start by letting you know that it is possible to agree there is no child support responsibility or obligation for you or your spouse in a divorce. That doesn't occur often. In situations where you and your spouse may be splitting possession of your children pretty much 50/50, I can see it happening. Still, if you are following a pretty standard possession schedule, then it is unlikely that you would waive any child support for your spouse since your opportunities to support the child are far greater than your spouse's.
If custody is pretty well split and your incomes are pretty similar, you may have a situation where no child support can be paid, and it will not be a problem either for you or your spouse. Indeed, if you proceed to a trial, a judge will order child support to be paid by one spouse, so if no child support is what you want, then you will have to negotiate for that either informally or in mediation.
Getting back to what I mentioned a moment ago, you will not walk out of a courtroom without a child support payment being ordered and applied to either you or your spouse. It is presumed that the guidelines level of support (20 percent of the obligor's net monthly resources for one child, 25 percent for two children, and maxed out at 40 percent for five or more children) is appropriate. You will need to offer evidence to prove that an increased or decreased amount is justified for your situation.
Child Support: What's it supposed to be for, anyway?
Like many components of family law in Texas, this question is not directly answered by a specific statute contained in the Texas Family Code. I see this as the number one issue that parents will argue about in the context of child support. Since there is nothing out there that lays out precisely what child support is supposed to cover, an interested party can argue either down or up what the license is intended to pay for.
Necessities are just that- extremely basic and do not amount to much. After food, clothing, and shelter are taken care of, there are still school costs, extracurricular activities' fees, and the list goes on and on. Like I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I'm a father of two girls, and I know that 25% of my net monthly resources would not begin to pay for what these kids cost my wife and me month to month.
Before we get ahead of ourselves- What does medical support mean exactly?
We can get so caught up in the "big" issue of child support that we often neglect to mention or explain fully what medical help is. If we turn ahead in the Book of Divorce, the final chapter contains a document called the Final Decree of Divorce. Within that document is a section that covers child support and medical support. This amount of money is a sum in addition to child support intended to either reimburse a spouse for providing support, outright pay for help or reimburse the State of Texas for keeping the children on Medicaid.
The specific rule is that if you are the parent who is paying child support, and you can provide medical support for your children as well (if the cost is equal to or less than 9% of your annual gross income), then you must have your children covered by your insurance. If that is not a possibility for you, then the other parent must attempt to do so if they have insurance provided through their place of employment. If that occurs in your family, you will pay cash medical support to your ex-spouse to reimburse them for the monthly fees for providing the insurance for your children.
The last situation relevant to this discussion centers around whether you nor your spouse have health insurance available through either of your employers. Cash support would then likely be ordered in addition to any child support obligation to help pay for any medical care for your children. Uninsured and uncovered medical expenses like deductibles and copays for doctor visits will need to be allocated between you and your spouse as well. Typically those costs are split 50/50. You and your spouse can work together to settle upon an agreement that suits you and your situation based on your circumstances.
Part Three of our discussion on child support and medical support is tomorrow.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, thanks you for your interest in our family law blog and will be back tomorrow to discuss the length of time support of either kind will need to be paid and how to modify a child/medical support order.
If these articles have piqued your interest and you have questions regarding a new child support order or how to modify an existing one, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. A licensed family law attorney is ready to meet with you six days a week for a free-of-charge consultation in which your questions can be answered.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce"
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Important Information Explained Regarding Child Support and Medical Support in Texas, Part Two
- Important Information Explained Regarding Child Support and Medical Support in Texas
- Texas Child Support Basics
- Texas Child Support Basics, Part Two
- Can my Texas Driver's License Be Suspended for Not paying Child Support?
- Child Support Modification in Texas (Part 1)
- What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
- Texas Child Support Appeals
- In Texas, are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
- Texas Child Support – Trust and Annuities
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Tomball, 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 essential to speak with one of our Tomball, TX Child Support Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our child support lawyers in Tomball, 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 child support cases in Tomball, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, 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.