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Call the Specialists in Houston - Child Support Lawyers in the Ramos Family Law Group
The family law experts at Ramos Law Group can help ensure that child support amounts are set fairly during divorce. Give us a call, and together we’ll make an action plan for bringing about the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Call (713) 597-7295 or contact Ramos Law Group online to schedule your consultation.
What is Child Support?
All parents have a duty to support their children; an obligation that begins at birth. Child support is a court ordered payment by one parent to another for the purposes of caring for their child.
How Much Child Support Must be Paid?
Child support is calculated using guidelines promulgated by the Texas legislature that require that a certain percentage of a parent’s net monthly income goes to support of the child. If you work with a child support attorney from Ramos Law Group, they will assist you in handling your child support case.
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 09/01/20133
Effective September 1, 2013, the Texas Child Support Division of the Attorney General increased the cap on net resources for child support calculations. The cap increased 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 your Ramos Law Group child support attorney for further details.
Sample Comparison | Support Obligation
|Effective Date||Cap*||# of Children||Monthly|
|On or Before 08/31/2013||$7,500||2||$1,875|
*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:
|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?
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. If you have more detailed questions, talk to your child support attorney to learn more about the technicalities.
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 at Ramos Law Group can ensure that 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 attorney will explain, a wage withholding order is an order provided to the obligor’s employer which results in an automatic deduction of the child support from the obligor’s paycheck. That money is then forwarded to the Texas State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio, which 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. Your child support attorney should review the language and guidelines to ensure that they’re in your best interest and in the best interest of your child.
If specific language is not contained in your decree, you will have to file an enforcement action with the court if your former spouse is delinquent on child support payments. It is advised to have your child support attorney 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 obligor’s 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.