In a situation where two unwedded persons or a married couple with a child decide to end their relationship, they must address the matter of child support and custody. At times, the separating parents may find a way to come up with a viable solution amicably.
However, when legal proceedings become mandatory, child support agreements can get heated and need hours of negotiations between the divorcing or separating parents. In the event you and the other parent are incapable of deciding on the support agreement terms, enlisting a seasoned child support lawyer in The Woodlands can be the best course of action.
A family lawyer will hear what you are looking for in the child support arrangement and fight in your stead to ensure that you get a favorable outcome for you and the child(ren) in question. Our family law attorneys in The Woodlands are committed to making sure that neither your rights nor those of the child are infringed as you navigate this emotionally draining process.
Whether you are looking to adjust the original child support arrangement or want to formulate an entirely new agreement, our child support lawyers at Bolton Law will work day and night to ensure you get the best possible outcome during the proceedings. You can get in touch with us at 281-351-7897 or fill out our online form so we can start reviewing your child support case right away.
What Is Child Support?
Unwedded parents who are separating or divorcing parents often know that they have a legal duty of care to provide financial aid to their child(ren) through child support. Besides that, most parents aren’t conversant with what child support is, how much, for how long, who pays, and exactly what it covers.
Child support can be described as cash a parent (often the non-custodial party) pays to the other parent (often the custodial parent) to augment what the other party already gives from their income to cater to the child’s welfare and running costs in the primary residence of the child.
Among the most unclear facets of child support is Texas law doesn’t stipulate what the child support is supposed to cater for. In general, child support in the state of Texas is cash intended to cover the child’s basic needs for shelter, clothing, food, public education, dental and medical care.
As long as the child(ren) isn’t being mistreated, a parent who gets child support has the option to utilize the money as they see fit. For instance, the primary custodian is permitted to use the child support money for paying their mortgage or rent. Child support payments can be made through periodic payments, a lump-sum payment, annuity, setting aside property, or a mixture.
How Is Child Support Determined in Texas?
Texas has set up child support guidelines that outline the amount of money that should be paid. In Texas, excluding rare instances, only the income of the parent paying child support is taken into account. For persons earning below $150,000, the payor will be mandated to pay roughly the following percentages of their net income:
- 1 child: 20%
- 2 children: 25%
- 3 children: 30%
- 4 children: 35%
- 5 + children: 40%
The parent paying child support is also often required to pay for the child’s dental and medical insurance, and that amount is subtracted from their income before child support is computed. If the individual paying child support has other children with somebody else, the percentage of income mandated will be decreased.
The Texas Attorney General provides a child support calculator that considers these factors and will provide you with an insight into what child support guidelines will look like.
When somebody has an after-tax income of $9,200 per month (approximately $150,000 p.a.) the percentages will no longer be automatically applicable, and the judge will instead review the actual necessities of the child(ren). In most circumstances, Texas courts are hesitant to mandate child support based on over $9,200 per month.
A seasoned child support attorney in The Woodlands can assist you in determining whether your case has met the prerequisites for the court to award child support based on over $9,200 per month, even if the court may mandate child support in a higher amount than the percentage parameters.
Nevertheless, if you find you’re paying more child support than what the guidelines stipulated above, consult with a child support lawyer in The Woodlands, Texas to learn how you can have your child support payments lowered.
Additional Factors Considered
In spite of the fact that courts in Texas usually adhere to the above-mentioned guidelines closely, some situations may justify a court veering from the set guideline.
The judge will begin by presuming that the child support amount under the guideline will cater to the child’s wellbeing. However, the judge may mandate a different support amount if using the guideline would be considered “inappropriate or unfair” in that exact case. To make that decision, the judge will consider the following factors:
- The needs and age of the child
- The ability of the parent to support the child
- The duration the child spends with every parent
- The net resources of the custodial parent
- Child care costs
- Spousal maintenance (alimony) that a parent is receiving or paying
- Travel costs of the child to the other parent if they reside far apart, and
- Particular expenses like education or health care
What if My Financial Circumstances Change?
Child support is compulsory under Texas law. If a court establishes the amount you are required to pay, it’s your legal responsibility to do so without fail. While paying child support is a must in Texas, parents may stop payment or pay less than the court-ordered amount in some circumstances. This may be due to a change in a parent’s financial circumstances and not something they can control.
There might be life scenarios that see them alter their ability to make payments. In instances like these, they may push for a provisional suspension of child support to adjust their initial order. Some of the reasons a court may take into account to approve your modification request include:
- Job loss
- Reduction in net income
- Unforeseen medical bills
- Became physically impaired
How Do I Find the Best Child Support Lawyer for My Case?
If you’re not financially stable in The Woodlands, Texas and are splitting up with your partner, chances are that you are stressed if you can afford to raise the child alone. Enlisting the services of a family law attorney could prove to be the difference between your child living their best life and struggling. Having a child support lawyer will significantly raise your prospects of getting the support you require.
In The Woodlands area, there’s no deficit of lawyers you can select from when drafting a child support arrangement. With so much on the line, it can be challenging to know which firm will be best for your specific case. Here’s what to look for:
Diverse Legal Experience
Look for the legal expertise of the firm and the practice areas they are specialists in other than family law. This will show that the firm is conversant with Texas law and how courts work. This way, you can be sure filing crucial documents and ensuring your rights are protected is their main priority.
Record of Results
When you hire a child support lawyer, you need some assurance that they can win the case. This will involve you looking at their previous track record and the number of child support cases they have won.
Very Friendly and Helpful
How the legal representatives approach you really matters. Look for a firm that is focused on client satisfaction. So check whether they are professional, helpful, and friendly. You can get this information by reading online reviews and testimonials on their company website.
Child support arrangements usually entail a lot of disagreements given how your financial security and the wellbeing of your child(ren) are at stake. When establishing child support terms, you want somebody in your corner that knows what they are doing and is a skilled negotiator. These negotiations are what will determine the child support framework to ensure the interests of the child are looked after.
Contact a Child Support Lawyer in The Woodlands For Help!
Child support arrangements are usually challenging to draft in an amicable manner and usually get complicated with each parent having an opinion about the child’s future and the appropriate amount of child support. When your financial stability and the well-being of your child are at stake during the separation, make sure to fight to secure your child’s future and welfare.
We will help you whether you’re required to make payments or are looking for child support. Call Bolton Law in The Woodlands, Texas at 281-351-7897 or fill out our online form for a case review today!