Experienced Rockwall Child Support Lawyer Pursues Fair Orders
Skilled representation for paying and recipient parents during and after divorce
Texas family law recognizes that children have the right to financial support from both parents, whether parents are married or not. However, determining the appropriate amount and enforcing the terms of a child support order can trigger conflict. At Heath Grob, Principal Law Firm, P.C. in Rockwall, we strive to protect your financial interests and your child’s welfare. Our attorney closely examines the paying (obligor) parent’s income and resources to get a true picture of the financial situation. Drawing on this knowledge, they then press for a fair resolution, whether by settlement agreement or a court hearing. When you retain our services, you get skilled and determined representation focused on achieving the best possible results.
How do courts calculate child support in Texas?
Texas child support guidelines suggest the reasonable amount of support that a noncustodial parent should pay. The amount is based on that parent’s gross income, minus certain allowable deductions. If that net income is $9,200 a month or less, the guidelines suggest the following percentages of net income based on how many children are being supported:
- One child: 20 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 30 percent
- Four children: 35 percent
- Five or more children: 40 percent
In all situations, courts have discretion to order a lower or higher payment. When the obligor parent’s monthly income exceeds $9,200 per month, the judge can cap the obligation based on the guidelines or set a different amount. Other factors, such as child custody arrangements, factor into the decision. If the child splits time between parents, the court might lower the obligation, since the parents would essentially be sharing the day-to-day costs of child rearing.
Courts must also consider the best interests of the children, and tend to favor allowing children to maintain the standard of living they would have enjoyed if the parents had remained married. Items like private school tuition, music lessons, sports and enrichment activities can be added to the support obligation if the court feels these are appropriate.
In Texas, the child support obligation lasts until the child is 18 or finishes high school, whichever comes later. However, other events can trigger the termination of support:
- A court emancipates a minor child
- A child is physically or mentally disabled
- A child marries
If the court believes a parent is misreporting income or is deliberately earning less than possible to drive down the cost of child support, the court can impute income. This means the court assumes a higher income and bases its decision on that figure.
Modification and enforcement of child support payments in Texas
Texas family law allows for the modification of child support orders if either of two conditions are met:
- Three years have passed since the order and your current finances would dictate a change of 20 percent or $100 from the current amount.
- You have experienced a material and substantial change in circumstances, affecting either your income or your children’s needs.
Any paying parent having trouble making child support payments should immediately inquire about a modification, since unpaid child support is subject to 6 percent interest and could trigger enforcement actions such as:
- Suspension of driver’s license, professional license and sporting licenses
- Garnishment of wages
- Liens on financial instruments
- Denial of passport
- Notification to credit bureaus
- Lottery winnings intercept
- Jail for contempt of court
A parent should never rely on an informal agreement to reduce payments for the time being. The old order remains enforceable, and arrears are charged, until the court issues a new order. Instead, contact us to discuss a modification.
Contact my Rockwall, TX law office to discuss your child support issues
Heath Grob, Principal Law Firm, P.C. represents parents in child support matters in Rockwall and throughout the DFW Metroplex. Please call 972-961-4587 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.