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Ramos Law Firm

Excellence in Family law
1214 Miramar Street
Houston, TX 77006
Phone: 713-225-6200

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Child Support Lawyer In Houston

All parents have a duty to support their children. This obligation begins at birth. Child support is a court ordered payment by one parent to the other parent of a child for the support of the child. Your child support attorney can assist you in handling your child support case. Child support is calculated using guidelines promulgated by the Texas legislature that require that a certain percentage of a parentís net monthly income goes to support of the child.

How much does one have to pay for child support?

The Texas Family Code has guideline percentages which apply to the first $8,550.00 of the non-custodial parent's monthly net resources. If the child has additional proven needs, then additional support may be warranted.

New Texas Child Support Changes - Effective 09/01/2013

Effective September 1, 2013, the Texas Child Support Division of the Attorney General will be increasing the cap on net resources for child support calculations. The cap will increase from the current $7,500 to $8,550. The increase will affect any child support case filed or pending after September 1, 2013. Be sure to ask one of Ramos Law Firmís child support lawyers in Houston, TX for further details.

Sample Comparison - Support Obligation

Effective Date Cap* # of Children Monthly
On or Before 08/31/2013 $7,500 2 $1,875
09/01/2013 $8,550 2 $2,134.50

*Net income using AG's tax charts

What are the guideline percentages?

The following percentages are presumed to be appropriate under the Texas Family Code:

Child Support Guideline Percentages
Number of Children Percentage
1 20% of the obligor’s net resources
2 25% of the obligor’s net resource
3 30% of the obligor’s net resources
4 35% of the obligor’s net resources
5 40% of the obligor’s net resources
6 or more Not less than 40% of the obligor’s net resources

When it comes to child support, how does the court calculate net resources? 

A Ramos Law Firm child support attorney can explain the technicalities. In short, the Texas Courts use the total amount of money received by the person obligated to pay child support from all of the sources listed above and then subtracts social security taxes and federal taxes (using one deduction), state income tax (if any), union dues, and the cost of the health insurance for the child. The Court will only look at the first $8,550 net monthly resources for purposes of calculating support.

What if the person who should pay child support is not working? 

The Texas Court will still order a minimum amount of child support to be paid each month. One of the child support lawyers in Houston, TX at Ramos Law Firm can ensure the correct directive is given.

Will the Court waive the child support requirement if my spouse agrees to it? 

Some courts will not allow the parties to waive child support requirement even if the parties are in agreement. Generally, the right to "waive" the support is construed to belong to the child and not to the parent with whom the child lives. Since the child is not competent to make this kind of decision, the Court is very reluctant to allow child support to be waived.

What is a wage withholding order?

As your child support lawyer will explain, a wage withholding order is an order provided to the obligorís employer which results in an automatic deduction of the child support from the obligorís paycheck. That money is then forwarded to the Texas State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio, which, in turn, sends the payments to the obligee.

How is child support enforced?

The decree of divorce must have specific language on the amount of child support to be paid, who is to pay the support, to whom the support is payable, where and how it is to be paid, and when it is to be paid.

If specific language is not contained in your decree, you will have to file an enforcement action with the court if your former spouse becomes delinquent on child support payments. It is advised to have one of Ramos Law Firmís child support lawyers in Texas write your decree to guarantee correct language. The court has the authority to issue a wage-withholding order (if one has not already been issued by the court) to deduct child support from the obligorís earnings.

Will the court order back Child Support?

If you qualify for retroactive child support, the Texas Courts may sign an order specifying the amount, interest rate and total time for the obligor to pay back the past due amount. If you think you may be required to pay child support, even if there is no order in place, start setting aside child support now, or sending the other parent a clearly labeled check every month for the support of the child.

Your child support lawyer can clarify further details, and you can also read more here: Retroactive Child Support in Texas.

I have two children from my previous marriage for which I am currently paying child support; does the court take that into consideration when setting the amount of child support that I have to pay for my child with my soon-to-be ex-wife?

Yes. Instead of using the regular percentages, the Texas Court may reduce the amount of child support by giving consideration to the number of children before the Court and the number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support. Ask your child support attorney for a review of your specific case.

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