Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

Houston Family Law Attorneys Answer Your Questions

When you are faced with handling a family law issue, many questions arise to topics you may never have previously considered. At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, we believe our clients should not only be supported through these issues, but that our methods such be transparent. We encourage you to learn as much as possible so that you are better informed about how things can proceed.

We encourage you to contact us with specific questions or concerns about your particular situation!

How Is Child Support Calculated?

Child support is different for everyone who pays it and is based on your income. Usually, this amount is calculated by taking an amount known as your net monthly available resources and multiplying it by a percentage determined by the number of children you have. Net available resources include your gross income from all sources after deducting mandatory deductions. Non-mandatory deductions include such things as 401-k contributions.

The numbers, if you have no other dependent children, are as follows:

  • 1 child: 20%
  • 2 children: 25%
  • 3 children: 30%
  • 4 children: 35%
  • 5 children: 40%
  • For 6 or more children: at least 40%

For example, if you had net earnings, after mandatory deductions, and had no other net available resources of $3,000.00 per month, and have 3 children, the formula would be 3000 x .30, and would equate to $900 a month. For those with net monthly incomes over $7,500, different rules apply. The percentage changes if you have other children that you are responsible to support.

What Is Spousal Maintenance?

Different than alimony, spousal maintenance deals with the amount of money the court may order either spouse to pay after a divorce to help cover costs that the other spouse is dealing with. If a spouse is seeking maintenance, they first have to prove that they are unable to live comfortably on their own and with their own property after a divorce.

The spouse seeking financial help must fit into one of the following categories:

  • Have been a victim of domestic violence from their spouse
  • Has custody over a child with special needs
  • Be unable to make an income to support themselves, with the marriage lasting more than 10 years
  • Have some type of physical or mental disability that prevents them from working

Maintenance is typically only paid for 5 to 10 years and the spouse that is paying the money cannot pay more than 20% of their income or $5,000 per month, whichever is the lesser amount.

What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

A collaborative divorce is a method of divorce that avoids the courts and centers around compromise. The process begins with an agreement to reach decisions by both spouses and their respective lawyers working together. It can be a good option for people who want to end on friendly terms and go through the divorce process with more privacy.

We have 30 years of experience and are dedicated to helping our clients. Please call us today at (713) 936-2300 to make an appointment!

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