Child support, along with custody and spousal support are the three most highly disputed family law matters. The Court will generally order a non-custodial parent to pay a monthly amount to the custodial parent to help raise the minor(s). Support continues until the minor(s) is 18 years of age, unless otherwise stated. Texas law makes no provision during college, or the payment of college.
A number of factors are utilized to accurately arrive at the proper child support amount. The primary factors are the noncustodial parent’s gross income, the number of children and the percentage of time of the parents’ custody of the minor(s). However, child support does not have to always have to be established according to these inflexible guidelines. An experienced and thorough attorney will also make the judge aware of other matters the Court may consider, which include:
- The age and needs of the minor(s); the ability of the parents to contribute (financial resources available)
- The amount of time of possession of and access to a child
- The amount of the noncustodial parent’s net resources, including their earning potential if the actual income of the parent is significantly less than what the parent could earn because the parent is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or decrease in the income of the parent or income that may be attributed to the property and assets of the parent
- Child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment
- Whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child
- The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and currently being paid or received by a party
- The expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond high school
- Whether either parent has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity
- The amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties
- Provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses
- Special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child
- The cost of travel in order to exercise visitation, possession of and access to a child
- Positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments
- Debts or debt service assumed by either party
- Any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents
In addition to divorce, paternity suits, and non parent custody arrangements are situations in which the court may order child support to be paid.
As part of our family law practice, we routinely assist our clients with these issues, including post divorce enforcement and modification. When child support isn’t being paid, as a custodial parent you may need legal help in collecting your court mandated child support. Either parent may seek to modify the child support for a number of reasons, such as long term illness, serious injury, change in custody or amount of visitation, or a major increase or decrease in income of the parties.
When you need legal advice regarding child support or other family law matters, Kelley | Lawrence will explain the remedies available to you. You may call our law firm at 817-922-0555 to arrange a consultation with a qualified Fort Worth lawyer.