In a situation where two unmarried parents 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 separated 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 listen to what you need in a child support arrangement and fight to ensure a favorable outcome for you and the child 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 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 tirelessly to ensure you get the best possible outcome during the proceedings. You can get in touch with us at (281) 502-4931 or fill out our online form so we can start reviewing your child support case right away.
What Is Child Support?
Unmarried parents who are separating and married parents who are divorcing have a legal duty of care to provide financially for their children through child support. Most parents may not fully understand what child support is, how much it costs and for how long it’s paid, who pays, and exactly what it covers.”
Child support is cash that a parent (often the non-custodial party) pays to the other parent
(often the custodial party) to augment what the custodial party already spends for the child’s needs.
Texas law doesn’t stipulate how child support must be spent; however, it is generally understood to be intended to cover the child’s basic needs for shelter, clothing, food, education, and dental and medical care.
A parent who receives child support on behalf of their child has the discretion to use that money as they see fit. For example, the primary custodian of the child can use child support money to help pay their mortgage or rent.
Child support payments will be made either through periodic payments, a lump sum payment, annuity, a setting aside of property, or a mixture of these methods.
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 someone has an after-tax income of $9,200 per month (approximately $150,000 a year) 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 lawyer 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.
If you are paying more child support than what the guidelines stipulate above, consult with a child support lawyer at Bolton Law in The Woodlands, Texas to learn how you can have those payments lowered.
Additional Factors Considered
Even though Texas courts usually adhere closely to the above-mentioned guidelines, a judge may deviate from them if the situation warrants it
The judge will begin by presuming that the child support amount under the guideline will cater to the child’s well-being. 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. There are certain circumstances in which parents may ask the court to let them stop or reduce the amount of court-ordered child support. In cases like this, they may request an adjustment (modification) to their original child support order or a provisional suspension. The court may consider the following reasons for modifying your original child support order:
- Job loss
- Reduction in net income
- Unforeseen medical bills
- Become 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 child support lawyer 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 has the best child support lawyer and who will be best for your specific case. Here’s what to look for:
Diverse Legal Experience
Look for the firm’s areas of legal expertise and the practice areas in which they specialize other than family law. This indicates the attorneys are well-versed in Texas law and how the courts work. You can be sure that filing critical documents and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process will be the firm’s priority. 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. 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 may be complex and fraught with conflict since money is involved. 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 amicably. The process can get complicated very quickly since each parent has an opinion about the child’s future and the appropriate about of child support needed. 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) 502-4931 or fill out our online form for a case review today! A child support lawyer is here to get you the help you need.