Going through a divorce is hard enough, but when there are children involved, it makes it even harder. That’s why you need a quality Austin child support attorney by your side, ensuring you and your children get everything that you deserve.
In the state of Texas, one or both parents could be ordered to pay child support. No two situations are the same.
One parent might have physical custody of the children, or you may share custody. Usually, though, the parent with the least amount of physical time with their children pays the child support. In other words, you pay to support your children while they are not living with you.
There are guidelines regarding how much a parent must pay in child support and it’s based on that person’s income. You are always allowed to pay more than the required amount, but you cannot pay less. You can’t even agree together to a lesser amount – it’s a court order.
While the guidelines are pretty straightforward and the calculations fair, there are times that a judge must adjust the amount required to pay for child support based on the circumstances. As your Austin child support attorney, I always ensure you are getting as much as your child deserves based on the circumstances. It’s not always a one-size-fits-all approach.
In general, here are the guidelines for child support payments. For one child, parents pay 20% of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The amount increases by 5% for every child in addition to the first child. So, for 3 children, it would be 30% of the net income. It goes up to 40% for 5 children and if there are more than 5 children, the child support must be at least 40% or more.
The net income of the non-custodial parent is usually what is used to determine the amount of child support paid.
Net income is your gross income minus certain deductions. Your gross income includes all sources of income including employment, retirement, unemployment, military pay, or any other regular pay you receive.
Sometimes the courts also include the value of certain assets that could create income. Whether the court uses assets you own varies by situation. As your Austin child support attorney, I can help you determine which, if any, assets would be used in your situation.
From your gross income, you can deduct the following:
Divide the total by 12 and you have the net income the courts will use to determine your child support obligation.
It seems unfair, right? The non-custodial parent doesn’t have custody of the children and he/she must pay the child support?
This is only because the parent with physical custody is assumed to pay the typical living expenses of their children. When a child lives with you, it’s natural that you pay the costs of living for him/her. The non-custodial parent, however, isn’t paying those costs when he/she doesn’t live with the child which is why child support exists.
Once a court order is set, the non-custodial parent must pay child support monthly. The method of payment can vary. You and your ex-spouse can collaborate to decide which method of payment is preferred whether it’s a check, electronic payment, or even cash.
The important piece is that the child support is paid monthly. If it’s not, your Austin child support attorney can help you with the next steps. Don’t’ ignore the fact that your ex-spouse isn’t paying child support. A qualified attorney should be able to help you fix the situation.
Child support amounts aren’t set in stone. Life changes and the courts realize that. If your situation changes, your child has greater needs, or your ex-spouse’s income increases or decreases, you can petition the court to change the child support amount.
It’s best to work with a qualified Austin child support attorney to get the appropriate changes made, though. You need the proper proof and wording to ensure that you get the changes you want out of your child support.
Child support can be a serious issue. Handling it yourself can be scary and even risky. You might not get what you and your child deserve if you try to do it yourself.
What seems like an amicable divorce can quickly get stressful when it comes to money and making payments. Some parents are shocked at how much they have to pay, or they refuse to pay at all.
Don’t try to take the law into your own hands or just let it go. Your children deserve the support as do you. If you have physical custody of your children, you cover their daily living expenses, but their other parent is responsible too and I can make sure you get what you need for your children.
Child support is a serious issue and one you shouldn’t navigate alone. The law has your back and judges are usually fair when it comes to deciding how much child support a parent gets and who pays it.
However, the system can be complicated and scary. Don’t try to do it alone. Let a qualified Austin child support attorney help you fight for your child’s rights. It’s only fair to get your child what he/she deserves. It’s not your child’s fault the marriage didn’t work out and your child deserves the same quality of life he/she would have had if you stayed married. Contact us today at (512) 528-1900 to get started!