Child support can be a primary issue of contention between divorced or unmarried parents. Many parents will disagree when it comes to deciding who should pay child support and what amount needs to be paid. At Austin Lawyer Referral Service, we understand how emotionally draining and overwhelming child support cases can be and are prepared to assist clients no matter how complicated the situation may be. Here is are some commonly asked questions regarding child support in Texas.
Who pays child support?
In Texas, physical custody determines who will pay child support. The parent with physical custody of the kid(s) is the recipient parent, and the parent who does not have physical custody (regardless of whether or not he or she has legal custody) will pay the child support if ordered by the court.
How much is child support?
The courts have guidelines for the amount of child support a non-custodial parent should be required to pay. The guidelines will consider the non-custodial parent’s net income and the number of children the parent is supporting, for instance, if the payer has other children to support in a different household. Mainly, the court considers a child’s needs, the relative abilities of the parents to pay support, daycare expenses, educational expenses, medical expenses and the standard of living the child would have had the parents stayed together.
What is Included in the payor’s net resources?
The court will take into account all wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, overtime, stock dividends, interests, rental amounts from income property, any government benefits, severance pay, retirement benefits, and any other income sources.
Can we reach our own agreement on the amount of child support to be paid?
Yes. Parents can agree to vary from the guidelines as long as the variations are found to be in a child’s best interest. If the court agrees with the new amount, it will be entered in the order.
Can the child support amount be changed?
In certain circumstances, the court can change the amount owed in child support. If a paying parent loses a job or is experiencing some financial challenges, he or she can ask the court for a modification. Similarly, if the paying parent gets a better paying job, a parent receiving child support can ask for an increase. You will need the assistance of a lawyer to make a modification of support.
Can one be denied visitation if child support isn’t paid as ordered?
No. Payment of child support isn’t a condition for visitation privileges. You should contact your family attorney to get assistance in enforcing a child support payment court order. An agreement can be made to reduce payments if there is a good cause. Failure to pay, however, can have serious consequences.
When does child support end?
Child support generally ends when a child graduates from high school or reaches the age of 18 (whichever is later), marries, or when he or she is legally declared an adult. If the child is mentally or physically disabled, the court may order an indefinite period of child support.
For answers tailored to the unique circumstances of your case, contact Austin Lawyer Referral Service to set up a free and confidential consultation with a qualified Texas family law attorney. We’re ready to review your case and go over your legal options.