February 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- An overview of child support in Texas
Article provided by Piper & Turner, PLLC
Visit us at http://www.piperturner.com
Whether it is a divorce with children or a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, the financial aspects of the case can become even more important. It is customary that the Court will order a parent to pay some amount of child support to the other parent. This article provides information on several factors that affect a child support award, but parents should contact a knowledgeable family law attorney for information specific to their case.
When is child support ordered?
Child support is usually ordered in Texas in one of three scenarios. First, if a married couple has a child and is divorcing, child support will typically be ordered to be paid to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. Second, child support may be ordered in a case involving a petition for child custody or visitation, otherwise known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). Finally, if an individual is attempting to establish paternity of a child, child support issues are often involved.
How much money is paid in child support?
In Texas, the amount of child support ordered is based on the best interest of the child taking into account the child support guidelines set by the Texas Legislature. It is presumed that a fixed percentage of the parent's net resources, up to $7,500 per month, should be awarded as child support. Depending on the number of children involved in the present case and the number of children not before the Court, this percentage may change. Generally, the percentages set by the Legislature for child support in Texas are:
-20 percent of a parent's net resources for one child
-25 percent of a parent's net resources for two children
-30 percent of a parent's net resources for three children
-35 percent of a parent's net resources for four children
The percentages increase for more than four children to an amount not less than 40 percent of a parent's net resources.
What factors affect the child support amount?
Importantly, a judge has the discretion to adjust the amount of child support awarded, depending on the circumstances of the specific case as well as several factors listed in the Texas Family Code. A few of these factors include:
-The child's age and needs
-The child's care, health, and educational expenses
-The financial resources available for the child's support
-The parents' ability to contribute to the child's support
-Whether the parent has physical custody of another child
-The net resources and earning potential of the parent receiving child support
-The amount paid in spousal maintenance (alimony)
-The travel expenses of visitation
-Employee benefits like company housing or a car
-The circumstances of the parents
-The best interest of the child
Based on these factors, the Court has fairly wide discretion when awarding child support. Therefore, it is important that parents clearly convey their circumstances, expenses, and wishes to the Court in a child support matter. If you have a child and may be getting divorced, talk to a family law attorney to learn more.---
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