Child Support Attorneys in Waco Texas
Dunnam & Dunnam family law attorneys routinely handle child support issues. Call our child support attorneys at 254-753-6437 to schedule a consultation.
How is child support calculated?
Support amounts are normally based on income according to state guidelines. Texas considers the financial support of children to be a joint responsibility of both parents. However, in determining the amount of child support paid by the noncustodial parent, only the noncustodial parent’s income is considered.
Support is a flat percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income (less allowable deductions) for each child. The courts presume that the custodial parent spends at least an equal percentage of his or her income directly in child support. The income/salary of the custodial parent generally does not come into question unless there is evidence that simply following the guidelines is not in the best interest of the child.
Child Support in Texas
In Texas, when the paying parent has no other minor children, child support is based on state guidelines that factor in the paying parent’s net income and other resources, as follows:
• 20 percent of net resources for one child;
• 25 percent of net resources for two children;
• 30 percent of net resources for three children;
• 35 percent of net resources for four children; and
• 40 percent of net resources for five children.
Texas uses a complex set of guidelines and formulas to determine how support should be paid when a noncustodial parent has children in multiple households. It is based on adding a total support obligation for all children as if they lived in one household. The procedure then considers the number of children involved in the current proceeding, and applies credits for support to children who are not part of the current proceeding. There is much more involved in this particular aspect of determining support.
Without the aid of counsel or a state caseworker, these amounts are very difficult to calculate. The resources or needs of either parent’s new spouse or dependents may not be used to increase or decrease the child support obligation.
Either or both parents may be ordered to make periodic, lump sum, or both types of child support payments. There are official child support guidelines set out in the statute and these are presumed to be reasonable and in the best interests of the child. In rare cases where the court determines that the guidelines should not apply, the factors for consideration are:
• the age and needs of the child;
• the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child;
• any financial resources available for the support of the child;
• the amount of possession and access to the child;
• the net resources of the parent to pay support, including the earning potential of the parent to pay support if the actual income of that parent is significantly less than what that parent could earn, if intentionally unemployed or underemployed;
• any childcare expenses necessary for the employment of either parent;
• whether a parent has custody of another child and any child support expenses being paid or received for the care of another child;
• the amount of alimony being currently paid or received;
• provisions for health care;
• any educational or health care needs of the child, including college expenses;
• any benefits a parent receives from an employer;
• any debts or obligations of a parent;
• any wage or salary deductions of the parents;
• the cost of traveling to visit the child;
• any positive or negative cash flow from any assets, including a business or investments;
• any provisions for health care or insurance;
• any special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parents or the child;
• whether either parent has a car or housing furnished by an employer or other person or business; and
• any other relevant factor.
The court normally orders health insurance coverage and requires the parent to split the uninsured health care expenses of the child. In addition, the court may order income withholding to secure the payment of child support. Child support is described in the Texas Codes Annotated; Family Code, Chapters 154.001 to 154.309.
To discuss your case with an experienced Waco child support lawyer, contact one of Dunnam & Dunnam’s child support attorneys at 254-753-6437.
Call us at 254-753-6437 to discuss your child support matter with an experienced Waco family lawyer.