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Category Archives: Child Support
Guideline Child Support Doesn’t Make Sense For My family. What Other Factors Does The Court Consider?
Texas has specific guidelines related to the amount of child support that should be paid each month. The guidelines consider the income of the obligor, or the person paying child support, and the amount of children to be supported. While the amount child support is ordered is based off of these guidelines in most cases, child support can be increased or decreased from the guideline amount depending on a series of factors listed in Texas Family Code §154.123. The Court must consider all relevant factors when deviating from child support. These factors include: Continue reading
My child lives with me, but the other parent hasn’t been providing any support for our child. Can I get back child support for all the time I’ve been supporting our child by myself?
Texas Courts may order what is known as ‘retroactive child support.’ This means that in addition to requiring a parent to pay child support going forward, a parent may be ordered to pay back child support for previous times when that parent was not helping to support the child. In order for a court to order retroactive child support, the court must first find that no previous order regarding child support was in place, or that the previous order in place was terminated prior to the time frame for which back child support is requested. If someone is ordered to pay child support and fails to do so, those missed payments are known as arrears, not retroactive child support, and a different process is in place for collecting back payments. Continue reading
Texas child support obligations are calculated using a percentage of your net resources, that percentage being based on how many children one has an obligation to support. Unless there are additional circumstances, as outlined below, a court cannot order a party to pay above Texas Guideline child support amounts as dictated by the Texas Family Code.
There are special circumstances where a court will order a party to pay child support obligations above the guideline amount. Texas Family Code §154.123 states the court shall consider the following factors when deciding if guideline child support is applicable: Continue reading
This is NOT advisable for several reasons.
First, the ordering containing a child support obligation could ostensibly be in effect for many years, depending on the age of the child when it is first submitted to the court. Second, costs of living increase, people have more children, jobs are lost, two incomes become one; there are a variety of events that could cause a party to regret agreeing to pay a higher amount of child support than guideline amount. Third, there are penalties associated with failure to pay child support obligations; a person does not want to set themselves up for criminal or punitive sanctions for failure to pay if they could have avoided it by paying the guideline amount. Continue reading
The State of Texas takes failing to pay child support very seriously; you can face several different types of penalties. These penalties include contempt, liens/foreclosures, suspension of licenses and child support liens.
Failure to pay child support obligations is punishable by coercive and punitive contempt. A motion for enforcement by contempt can be filed with the court. Continue reading
Under the Texas Family Code, the right to receive child support and the right to visitation are two independent rights that do not have any weight on the other right. The ability to visit with your children is not dependent on your ability to pay child support. The obligation to pay child support does not disappear if the responsible parent is denied visitation or chooses to no longer possess the child during their periods of visitation.
So you were awarded child support. What next?
If you are the party awarded child support in Texas, you will understandably want to know when and how you will begin receiving child support payments. This is a multistep process as outlined below.
First, some basic information and terminology. The party awarded child support is known as the Obligee. The party ordered to pay child support is known as the Obligor. All child support payments must be paid to the Child Support Disbursement Unit located in San Antonio. Your final decree or order has a paragraph which states that any informal payments do not constitute as child support. If the money is not paid directly to the Disbursement Unit it is not being counted by the State as child support and the Obligor could be held in contempt for nonpayment. It is very important that all child support payments go through the State first.