Houston Child Support Attorney
Fighting for the Best Interests of Your Children in Texas
To ensure both parents are caring for their children, child support is usually ordered, which the non-custodial guardian must pay. A judge will review several factors to determine the best outcome for everyone involved. At our family law firm in Houston, our experienced Houston child support attorney will work diligently on your behalf to help secure the results your children need in the aftermath of the divorce.
Dealing with a child support dispute? Call today at (832) 864-9296 to set up a free initial phone consultation with our knowledgeable Houston child support attorney.
How Texas Calculates Child Support
When determining child support in Texas, a judge will review several factors. However, one of the biggest factors in this process is the average net monthly resources of the paying parent.
Below are a variety of sources of income used to determine a parent’s gross income:
- Wage and salary income, including tips, overtime, commissions, and bonuses
- Royalty income, interest, and dividends
- Income earned through self-employment
- Net rental income
- All other income received, including unemployment benefits, pensions, severance pay, trust income, disability, retirement pay, annuities, workers’ compensation benefits, gifts, and spousal support.
Below are other sources of income a judge will not use when calculating a parent’s gross income:
- Unpaid accounts receivable
- Income earned by a new partner
- Benefits paid through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Return of capital or principal on a note not included in the net resources
- Payments for providing foster care
The sum of child support a parent must pay is also based on the number of children involved. However, it is generally capped at 40% of the paying parent’s net resources. In some cases, even if there is only one child, support may be adjusted upward if that child has greater needs that warrant substantially more financial support.
It is also possible to modify Houston child support payments later on if either parent’s financial circumstances change or if the child’s needs increase.
Modifying a Child Support Order in Texas
Child support in Texas stops at the age of eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule.
First, child support will be continued indefinitely if an adult child has a mental or physical disorder that necessitates ongoing medical attention. According to state law, the court would address the adult child's current and potential medical needs, the amount of vehicle each parent is required to provide, each parent's financial resources, and any other financial aid services for the disabled child.
The second exemption is whether the child is legally emancipated before reaching the age of eighteen. At the age of 16 or 17, a minor may become emancipated by marrying, entering the military, or petitioning the court to be free of parental control.
When Can a Child Support Order be Modified?
Modifications to a child maintenance order are possible in two situations.
If the amount of monthly child support measured using the statutory child support provisions in the Texas Family Code changes by more than 20%, or at least $100, the child support order can be changed.
The party seeking the modification must show that their circumstances have changed materially and significantly since the last child support payment. From the date on which the order was entered with the court or the date on which the agreed or joint law settlement agreement on which the order is based was signed.
How a Houston Attorney Can Help You Win Child Support
It is important to ensure your children are cared for and supported even in the aftermath of a divorce. At The Pollard Firm, PLLC in Houston, our knowledgeable family law firm will work with you to help you obtain the results that best suit your circumstances and support your children’s needs. Whether you are the paying parent or the receiving parent, we will help you achieve a goal that is fair and serves the best interests of your children moving forward.
Seeking child support in Houston? Take the first step in your case today and call our law office at (832) 864-9296 or contact us online to schedule a free initial phone consultation!