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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, he or she is sure to have an opinion. If you are the person who is going to be on the hook for paying child support it is likely that you think that the amount that you will have to pay is too much. That’s not to say that you don’t think supporting your child is a good idea, or that you don’t love your child. It’s just that being made to pay money that goes directly to your ex spouse can cause some mixed emotions about the subject.

On the other hand, if you are the parent who is set to receive child support as a result of 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 as a result of 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 when it comes to 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. My goal today is to present the facts and a little of my own 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 within it certain guideline amounts of child support that are to be paid by one parent to the other for the purpose of helping to 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. The most frequently used word from this past section was “net resources”. What exactly does this term refer to?

Net Resources defined in regard to child support

Net resources, for the purposes of calculating a person’s child support obligation, includes 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 in order to arrive at your net resources.

While I just laid out net resources as a concept in two sentences it is important 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 attorney who is experienced in helping clients calculate child support based on multiple sources of income. 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 that you owe will be deducted on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

This is a good thing 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, basically. 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 having to make payments directly to your ex spouse your payments 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 directly ask your ex-spouse for child support each month. Furthermore, you will not be receiving partial or missed payments with an order in place. It is completely out of your spouse’s hands assuming that he or she maintains 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 fairly 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 today

It is understandable to have questions regarding an important and complex subject like child support. If you find yourself wanting more information about child support please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. One 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 the services that our office can provide you with as a client of ours.

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