Child Support Attorneys in Dallas
Child support is one of the most important, and often one of the most contentious, issues to come out of a divorce or custody proceeding. The Godwin Bowman PC Family Law team of experienced attorneys can guide you through Texas laws and regulations to help ensure the well-being of your children. Speak with a Dallas family law attorney from our firm about your case to learn more about child support laws in Texas and how they may affect you and your children.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
Texas offers a formula for determining the typical amount of child support owed, which is generally referred to as “guideline support.” The Texas Family Code states that the guidelines are intended to guide the Court to determine an equitable amount of child support. The amount of child support established under the guidelines is presumed to be reasonable and presumed to be in the best interest of the child UNLESS application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.
The basic support guidelines are as follows:
- One child= 20% of Net Monthly Income
- Two children = 25% of Net Monthly Income
- Three children = 30% of Net Monthly Income
- Four children = 35% of Net Monthly Income
- Five children = 40% of Net Monthly Income
- Six children or more = no less than 40% of Net Monthly Income
These guidelines are applied based on Net Monthly Income (as discussed below). Once Net Monthly Income is determined, the court will apply one of two standards based on that income level: the first applies if an Obligor’s (the party obligated to pay support) net monthly income is less than $7,500.00, with the second standard applicable if the Obligor’s net monthly income is greater than $7,500.00.
If the net monthly income is less than $7,500.00, the court will generally look at the number of children in the applicable household (It is also worth noting that a different calculation applies if an Obligor has children in two different households).
If net monthly income is above $7,500.00, the court will apply the calculations noted above to the first $7,500.00 of net monthly income. If the Obligee (the party receiving the support) can prove that the child has “needs” which warrant additional support, then the court can order that the Obligor pay an additional amount. These “needs” could include such items as tuition, additional medical costs, tutoring, and extra-curricular activities, among many other things.
Are the child support guidelines unjust or unfair in your case?
Evidence which would support a finding that application of guideline support is unjust or inappropriate depends on the circumstances of each case. The Texas Family Code sets forth a non-exclusive list of 17 factors to determine whether a variance from the guidelines is appropriate. These factors are found in the Texas Family Code.
Texas Family Code Sec. 154.123:
1. Age and needs of the child
2. Ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child
3. Any financial resources available for the support of the child
4. The amount of time of possession of and access to a child
5. The amount of the Obligee’s (person receiving child support) net resources
6. Child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment
7. Whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child
8. Amount of alimony or spousal maintenance received or paid by a parent
9. Expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school
10. Whether the Obligor or Obligee has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity
11. Amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties
12. Provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses
13. Special or extraordinary education, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child
14. The cost of travel to exercise possession of and access to a child
15. Positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments
16. Debts or debt services assumed by either party
17. Any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child
Each parent should support the child commensurate with his or her ability to pay; however, the amount paid should not be so great as to deny that parent the necessary expenses of living. The child support order implies a finding that the Obligor has the ability to pay the amount ordered.
Contact a Texas Child Support Lawyer at (214) 939-4400
Child support will be one of the most important factors for both you and your children in your divorce settlement. Be sure that you have access to advice from an experienced child support professional. Our entire family law team at Godwin Bowman PC will provide you with informed and knowledgeable representation.
- There are two different types of child custody recognized in Texas:
- Physical custody is the time a child spends physically with a parent.
- Legal custody is the parent’s legal rights concerning decision making, such as where a child goes to school, health care choices, religious training, and more.