In any case concerning a minor child, the issue of child support will need to be resolved. Although Texas law provides guidelines for determining how much a parent will pay in support, it is important to have an experienced family attorney to negotiate and obtain a fair child support order on your behalf. The family law attorneys at Stinson Moyle, PLLC, have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you achieve the best possible child support order for you and your child.
What Are Texas Child Support Guidelines?
Child support is often determined by the child support guidelines, which is a formula based on a parent’s net resources that is set out in the Texas Family Code. The child support guidelines begin at 20 percent of a parent’s net resources and can increase depending on the number of children a parents has. Texas courts presume that the application of the child support guidelines is in the best interest of the child, but there are numerous factors a court can consider in deviating from the guidelines. Some of those factors may include:
- the age and needs of the child
- the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child
- any financial resources available for the support of the child
- the amount of time of possession of and access to a child
- the amount of the obligee's net resources, including the earning potential of the obligee if the actual income of the obligee is significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or decrease in the income of the obligee or income that may be attributed to the property and assets of the obligee
- 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 secondary school
- whether the obligor or obligee 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 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 and any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.
How Long is Child Support Paid?
Under Texas law, child support is typically paid until:
- The child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later
- The child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by operation of law; or the child dies.
If the child is disabled and is not capable of self-support, then child support may continue for an indefinite period of time.
Susannah A. Stinson and Rachel Moyle are Texas board-certified family lawyers with extensive experience with Texas child support cases. Contact us today to discuss your case and see how we can help you with your child support matter.