February 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Texas parents are increasingly dependent on child support
Article provided by The Parker Firm
Visit us at http://www.parkerandmontgomery.com
Given the current state of the economy, many Texans have to make tough decisions regarding their spending habits. With the continuously increasing costs of almost everything, parents are quickly realizing the high expense associated with raising children. Consequently, parents who have primary custody of their children are now more than ever depending on child support payments from the other parent.
Who pays and how much?
In Texas, noncustodial parents are generally mandated to pay child support. Of course, the amount each parent is to pay will vary depending on their own financial situation. Currently, child support payments are calculated by determining the parent's net monthly resources (a term which is broader than but often referred to as "income" and multiplying those net monthly resources by a statutorily mandated percentage.
The mandated percentage by which the payments are calculated is dependent upon the number of children for which the payments are intended to support. Currently, if there is only one child involved, the noncustodial parent's resources will be multiplied by 20 percent; whereas, if there are four children involved, the noncustodial parent's resources will be multiplied by 35 percent. Ideally, these percentages are implemented to reflect the need for additional funding increased on a per capita basis.
What if payments aren't being made?
Texas recognizes a custodial parent's reliance on child support payments, and therefore the Texas Family Code offers many options to ensure that such parent is receiving the payments to which he or she is entitled.
The most common method used to ensure child support payments are made is through a process known as wage withholding, sometimes referred to as garnishment. If the court finds that the noncustodial parent is not fulfilling his or her obligation of financially providing for the children, the court can require the parent's employer to garnish his or her wages. With this process, an amount equal to the child support payments will be deducted directly from the parent's paycheck and then given to the custodial parent. This court-assisted intervention removes the noncustodial parent's choice of whether to make the mandated payments.
When the court is unable to secure payments, even through attempts at wage garnishment, the court can take further steps to obtain compliance that serve as a deterrent for a noncustodial parent's future failure to pay. For instance, the court may suspend the parent's driver's license or a professional license, or even revoke a passport until the parent is up-to-date with the mandated financial support. Although this may not be the immediate financial assistance the custodial parent is hoping for, it is certainly helpful in ensuring that the noncustodial parent takes his or her financial obligations seriously.
Ensuring a child's financial security
If you or your family member is in the process of child support negotiations, or are considering making changes that will result in such, contact an experienced family law attorney who can discuss available options with you. Attorneys experienced with child support proceedings are an invaluable tool that will help make sure a custodial parent receives the funding that is owed and will assist in providing for a child's needs.
When all else fails, the court can invoke its contempt powers to enforce a child support order, ordering a non-paying parent to jail or placing the parent on probation and requiring payments to avoid being jailed.---
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