Clearing up rumors about child support in Texas
One of the areas of family law that attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC get questions asked the most about is child support. Whether you are the parent who pays the child support or you are the parent who receives the child support it is understandable to want to know what your rights are. A lot of people go to family members and friends to ask questions about child support and while those folks may want to provide you with helpful information there is no telling how accurate their advice actually is.
The law changes every so often and what your family member has told you may no longer be true. Worse yet, their understanding of the law may not be accurate which means that their advice is just plain wrong. Last, some people may be providing advice based off of their one experience with child support fifteen years ago after they had to go through the process.
With that said, let’s examine some important myths associated with child support in Texas so that you can have a little broader base knowledge from which to operate.
The only source for how much child support must be paid is the Texas Family Code. It is true that the “guidelines” support figures from the Texas Family Code are assumed to be in the best interest of the child by a court. However, a judge can take a number of factors into consideration- including the future needs of the child for whom support is paid as well as the income earning potential of the spouse set to receive child support when determining what an appropriate level of support is. What’s more, if you and your spouse are able to settle your case outside of court you both are able to agree to a reasonable child support obligation.
50/50 custody split means no child support. This is not exactly true, but many, many people would like it to be. The idea (which makes sense) is that since the child spends the same amount of time with mom and dad that no parent should have to compensate the other for care when the child is not in their possession. Quite honestly it is usually fathers who will speak to me about wanting to see this sort of visitation enacted. While it is possible to not have to pay child support as a result of splitting custody 50/50, a judge will still take the totality of the circumstances into consideration when deciding what child support award, if any, is appropriate. An easy compromise of sorts is to have the lesser amount of child support subtracted from the larger amount of support. Whatever the number is that is what will have to be paid from parent to parent.
The State Disbursement Unit takes money in for child support and disburses it to the parent to whom child support is owed. This typically is a true statement but if your child receives government assistance in the form of health insurance (Medicaid, for example) then a portion of that money will be directed to the government through the Texas Attorney General’s State Disbursement Unit. If you are the parent who is set to receive child support it is worthwhile to know this so that you are not simply looking at the numbers contained in your Final Decree of Divorce and assuming that you will get to collect one hundred percent of that money.
Whatever the monthly award of child support is you are stuck with that amount until the child turns 18. There are many circumstances that can lead to a child support award either decreasing or increasing. For starters, if the income of the parent who pays child support changes a great deal then either parent can request a court date to discuss the possibility of increasing or decreasing the child support obligation depending on the change in income. Likewise, if the needs of the child have changed (if he or she has become disabled since the time the divorce was finalized) then a modification of the child support award can be won. Finally, in some situations an adult child will require support beyond the time he or she graduates from high school. If you are the parent who receives child support and believe that this is a necessary step to take for you and your child then you will need to file a motion to modify your divorce decree right away.
If you’re being denied the opportunity to see your child then you don’t have to pay child support. This goes hand in hand with the idea that some fathers and mothers have that if their rights are terminated to the child then their need to pay child support also terminates. A judge would most likely disagree with this thought and instead increase the child support amount due to the increased time that the child is having to spend with their other parent as a result of not spending any time with the parent who pays child support.
In a similar line of argument, some fathers and mothers who are being denied the right to see their child believe that since they are not able to see the child that no support needs to be paid as a result. This is not the case, however, just as you would not be able to withhold the child from their other parent simply because he or she is not paying child support. If you started to withhold visitation at the same time your ex spouse is withholding child support you both may have causes of action to bring an enforcement suit against the other parent.
Questions on child support? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC today
If you have any additional questions on child support please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC today. A licensed family law attorney is available to meet with you six days a week and can answer your questions in a comfortable setting at no cost to you.
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:
- 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
- Special Needs Children in Texas Child Support Cases
- How to get above guideline child support.
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is 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 Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, 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.