One of the hardest parts of divorce for many people happens if children
are involved. Not only do parents struggle with questions of
child custody, but also
child support. Either or both parents could be required to make periodic, lump-sum,
or both types of child support payments if the court deems it appropriate.
However, the amount will depend on a number of different factors.
In general, the Texas Family Code determines the guidelines for child support.
Typically, the parent who has physical custody of the child for the majority
of the time will not be obligated to pay child support; in cases like
these, the noncustodial parent will have to pay.
Parents can agree on how much the noncustodial parent pays, and, in some
situations, they can even agree no amount is needed at all. If parents
can’t agree, however, the court will apply the following guidelines
for what percentage of net resources a parent should pay for the specific
number of children. For example, one child would demand 20% of net resources
as child support, while 4 children would demand 35%.
Additionally, the court will consider the following factors when making
- Age of the child
- Child’s needs and special expenses
- Each parent’s financial ability, income, assets, and resources
- Childcare expenses
- Other child support expenses
- Medical and health care expenses
- Educational expenses, including college
- Employer benefits
- Debts and financial obligations of each parent
- Wage deductions
- Travel costs associated with child visitation
- Insurance payments
- Mortgage payments
The court may also apply special rules in circumstances where parents share
joint physical custody or if there are children present from other relationships.
If you find the amount is too high, you can modify the child support amount
later. Texas courts will allow modification of child support in cases
of drastic changes in circumstance. For example, if you lose your job,
you would be able to lower the amount of the child support payment until
you could find another position.
If you need help coming to a child support agreement, or you need to
modify your amount, talk to one of our skilled
Houston divorce attorneys at the
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny. We have helped many Houston families reach agreements about child support,
and we understand this may be a stressful time for you and your family.
Our lawyers can offer you more than 30 years of legal experience. Let
us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (713) 936-2300 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case