Texas Child Support Attorneys

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Meeting Your Children’s Financial Needs

One of the most important issues family law attorneys deal with is facilitating agreements regarding financial responsibilities and support for minor and dependent children.

In any lawsuit involving a minor child, it must be decided how the child will be supported financially. The Texas Family Code includes a standardized calculation for determining child support payments – but in many cases, this guideline amount isn’t realistic.

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we understand that no two families are the same – and that your children’s financial needs are unique. The attorneys in our Dallas, Austin and Plano office will work with you to find the right strategy for determining child support. Whether that’s simply following the traditional guidelines or taking an approach that’s specifically tailored to your family.

Texas Child Support Guidelines

There are few family law issues more emotionally charged than the question of how much money the non-custodial parent should pay for the support of his or her child. At Goranson Bain Ausley, our lawyers know Texas law regarding child support and advocate tirelessly for the outcome that is in the best interests of you and your child.

While it is almost universally viewed as a responsibility and an obligation, determining an appropriate amount of financial support often leads to disputes.  This is especially true for parents with higher incomes or significant estates.

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Establishing Child Support in Texas

Child support is money paid to support a child, including providing the child with, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, dental care, and education. The goal of child support is to ensure the child is receiving the financial support necessary to meet the needs of the child.

Texas law requires both legal parents to financially support their children’s necessary expenses even after a divorce.

When Can You Deviate from Texas Child Support Guidelines?

In determining the amount of child support to be paid, the court’s main consideration is the best interest of the child. The court bases its decisions to order less or more child support than the guidelines  by considering evidence of all relevant  factors, including:

  • The child’s age and needs
  • Parents’ financial resources and ability to pay
  • Amount of time the children spend in each parent’s care
  • If a parent is intentionally under or unemployed
  • Childcare expenses incident to a job
  • Whether a parent has conservatorship or physical custody of another child
  • Spousal support paid or received by a parent
  • Child’s college education and post-secondary school expenses
  • Housing, motor vehicle, and other benefits supplied to a parent by a third party
  • Other deductions from the income of a parent
  • Health insurance premiums, deductibles, and uninsured medical expenses
  • Special educational, health, or other issues that affect a child or a parent
  • Travel expenses associated with possession of and access to the child
  • Negative or positive cash flow that affects either parent’s liquidity
  • Debts assumed by a parent
  • Any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into account the circumstances of the parents

CONTACT US

If you find yourself approaching a family law or child support issue, we are here to help. Please get in touch with us by completing the form below.

TEXAS CHILD SUPPORT

FAQ

Child Support Options

Temporary Child Support

Temporary child support orders, issued to provide for and protect children before a divorce is finalized, have multiple benefits.

A temporary child support order can reduce the amount of stress children experience during a divorce by allowing them to continue with their normal activities. It can also help all parties verify if the agreed amount of support is adequate for their children to maintain their standard of living. A temporary child support agreement or order that’s acceptable to all parties may be formalized in the final divorce decree. If the temporary agreement or order isn’t acceptable to all parties, it may be amended before finalization.

Permanent Child Support

Permanent child support refers to the orders that lock in the terms of the child support payments. However, the word “permanent” can be misleading, as these orders can be changed over time. If a party believes there is a substantial change in circumstance and that a different child support amount would be in the best interest of the child, they can request for a modification of the previous child support order.

Determining Child Support Payments

Child support determinations are deeply intertwined with child custody and visitation arrangements. Generally speaking, non-custodial parents, or obligors, make monthly child support payments to the custodial parent. Custodial parents are not usually the subjects of a child support court order because the court assumes they’re already making substantial contributions to their child’s care by providing food, clothing, shelter, and education.

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Enforcement of Child Support Orders

Every child deserves to receive the support they need, whether it be emotional or financial. If a parent isn’t adhering to their child support orders, that negatively impacts their child’s life. Luckily, there are steps that can be taken to resolve the issue.  

Several state and federal agencies handle child support enforcement. In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General and family courts partner with the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to locate and notify non-compliant parents of any court orders and the amounts of child support payments owed to a custodial parent.

Texas also has a diversion program called the Child Support Probation Unit. This unit collaborates with the Office of the Attorney General and the IV-D Child Support Court Associate Judges to provide an incarceration alternative for non-custodial parents who have been held in contempt for non-payment of child support monies.

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Modifying Child Support Orders

As your life changes over time, the terms of your child support order may need to be modified. There are specific circumstances that must exist to do this, and it’s important that any modification be formalized through a new court order and not through informal agreements.

Child support orders can be modified by either parent if the existing order has been active for more than three years or the monthly support amount would change by either 20% or $100. This often occurs when the obligor experiences a significant change in circumstances, such as the non-custodial parent’s income significantly increases or decreases, the non-custodial parent becomes legally responsible for more children, medical insurance for the dependent child/children changes, custodial arrangements are altered, a major medical issue arises or the non-custodial parent is incarcerated.

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Our Experienced Texas Child Support Attorneys

Goranson Bain Ausley lawyers focus on identifying the financial needs of the child and then advocating from a “best interest of the child” perspective both in and out of the courtroom. In addition, our lawyers have an extensive background handling enforcement and modification issues. If you would like to learn more about child support and what support you may be required to pay or entitled to receive, call one of our three office locations: Dallas, Plano, and Austin or fill out the consultation form today.

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