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A Guide to Understanding Child Support in Texas

A Guide to Understanding Child Support in TexasChild support is an important part of maintaining a family’s well-being and children need to be supported financially by their parents through a divorce or if they were never married. In Texas, the state recognizes this financial responsibility and has set up guidelines for calculating child support. The calculation factors in the custodial parent’s income, the number of children, medical coverage costs, and childcare expenses. This helps ensure that families have enough resources to adequately care for any children involved.

Once you're aware of how child support is determined and calculated, you may want to consider making changes or adjustments to the amount ordered. This can involve figuring out potential hardships that could have an effect on paying support payments or scenarios when adjustments should be made due to any changes in circumstances. Legal advice from experienced attorneys can help guide individuals when seeking modifications in court or with governmental offices related to child support orders. Regardless of familial structure, it’s essential that both parties involved in providing financial resources for their children agree on a number regarding child support so everyone can move forward and raise healthy kids free from financial hardship as much as possible.

Noncustodial Parents Are Responsible for Child Support.

When it comes to paying child support, physical custody of the child is usually taken into account in determining who pays what. If both parents are involved and have similar amounts of time with the child a judge will decide who should pay what amount. The parent with less physical custody, also known as the noncustodial parent, is usually the one responsible for providing financial support in these cases. This does not mean however that custodial parents are off the hook for costs related to raising a child, as the law still expects them to bear daily expenses linked to raising their children such as food and clothing.

The noncustodial parent can be ordered to make regular payments or provide lump sum payments as specified by the court order. Generally speaking, payments are made on a monthly basis with amounts that may increase or decrease depending on changes in family income or other circumstances related to costs associated with raising children. On top of this, non-custodial parents may also be held legally responsible for additional costs such as those associated with medical treatments, education fees, or any extraordinary needs specific to their offspring.

The Texas child support guidelines provide an effective framework for a parent to receive the financial support that their children need, based on noncustodial parents’ net monthly incomes. Under the “income percentage” method used in these guidelines, child support amounts are generally established according to the noncustodial parent's available income.

Gross Income is a Factor in Child Support Calculations.

When calculating the amount of child support a parent is responsible for, gross income from all sources must be taken into consideration. This includes self-employment income, such as if a parent operates a business, as well as any income from interest and dividends. If the individual owns rental property and is receiving net rental income from it, that should also factor into the total. Even unemployed parents may still have some form of regular income coming in from such sources as alimony or severance pay from a former job.

In order to correctly determine what child support amount is legally fair for both parties involved, all income must be properly accounted for. When a court has to decide on an appropriate sum of money for either parent to pay each month, they will examine exactly how much money each parent makes and reasonably expect them to contribute their share according to what they earn. Knowing this is pertinent when trying to obtain the best outcome possible when going through mediation or filing any documentation with your local courthouse.

The Net Income for the Texas Child Support Guidelines Is Reported.

Calculating net income for the Texas Child Support Guidelines is an important step in order to determine how much a parent has available to pay towards child support. It requires subtracting certain expenses from the total gross income. The Social Security taxes, or mandatory retirement contributions if applicable, are subtracted from the gross income. Additionally, federal and state income taxes based on a single person claiming one exemption must also be deducted from the total amount. Union dues and health/dental insurance premiums related to paying for a child’s medical expenses may also be taken as deductions from the gross amount.

The Texas Child Support Guidelines also allow for parents who pay child support for another child or children to take credit for those payments. These credits are applied before calculating the net resources of an individual facilitating a consistent calculation throughout different scenarios. Taking these calculations into account is the easiest way to ensure that everyone involved with Child support goes through an equitable determination process that respects each parent's active role in providing financial resources during this stage of life.

Talk to a Lawyer

An experienced family law attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you explain and navigate the entire case process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

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