Bellaire Texas Child Support Lawyer Protecting the Best Interests of Families and Children
In Texas, parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. Child support payments are a way for both parents to share the cost of raising a child. However, child support can be a complicated issue with many factors used to determine how much you will pay (or receive) and many rules that need to be followed. Our firm helps clients going through a child support-related dispute and can provide a few answers to questions we receive every day.
When Is Child Support Ordered in Texas?
A few common situations that result in court-ordered child support payments are divorce, family protective orders, or the establishment of paternity (in the case of an unmarried couple). When a married couple gets a divorce or dissolution of their marriage, the judge in charge of the marriage dissolution order will usually include provisions for child support in the final order. If a parent seeks an order of protection in a domestic violence situation, the other parent may also be ordered to pay child support by the court at the same time the restraining order is issued.
Which Parent Pays for Child Support?
The parent that does not have primary custody of the child is usually the one responsible for making child support payments to the custodial parent. The court may also require the non-custodial parent to include the child in his or her employer’s health insurance plan, or otherwise enroll the child in a program such as Medicaid or CHIP.
Child support payments should be made following the instructions in the child support order, which means payments are not usually made directly to the custodial parent but must go through the registry of the court or sometimes through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit. Any material gifts for the child (toys, clothes, money) can be given directly to the custodial parent or the child, but do not count towards child support payments.
How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Texas?
Initially, child support payment amounts are calculated using the official state child support guidelines, which are presumed to be in the best interests of the child. Generally speaking, a non-custodial parent making a certain income is expected to allocate at least a portion of their monthly income to child support payments for one child.
This percentage goes up in proportion to the number of children the payor has with the non-custodial parent. This amount can be altered by the court if the payer is currently supporting children in another household.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Disputes over child support can be tense and emotionally draining, but even when parents agree on the terms of a child support order, representing yourself is a risky proposition. You have better chances of reaching an agreement that not only benefits your child but also will not jeopardize your financial stability.
The attorneys at ALP Law Firm have the knowledge and skills to walk you through the child support legal process and help you and your ex reach an agreement that will work for your situation. Whether you are a custodial parent seeking child support payments or you are on the receiving side of a child support order, contact our Bellaire, TX office for a consultation by calling (832) 930-0997. Our child support lawyers in Fresno, California have assisted many clients in Bellaire, TX, and surrounding areas, and we look forward to helping you, too.