In the past, it was common practice for the courts to award custody of the children to the mother and order the father to pay child support. Nowadays, courts tend to focus on what is best for the child, giving strong preference to joint custody arrangements that allow both parents to remain involved with raising the child. But who pays child support in a joint custody situation? Our attorneys explain the rules of joint custody child support in Texas and what you should do if you have questions or need to make changes to your current support order.
How Is Joint Custody Defined in Texas?
Joint custody is an arrangement that allows both parents to have equal decision-making power in matters relevant to raising the child. Important decisions such as education, healthcare, medical treatment, religious and moral upbringing, and more should be made by both parents. Having joint custody allows the child to sustain a strong relationship with both mother and father, and is seen as beneficial in most cases.
How Does a Judge Decide Which Parent Gets Primary Custody?
When a judge decides to award the parents joint custody of the child, he or she will also determine which parent gets primary custody, i.e., which parent the child will live with as a primary residence, and which parent will have possession and access to the child through scheduled parenting visitation time. To make that decision, the judge will focus on several factors, including the needs of the child, the relationship between the parents and the child, and parenting skills, to name a few examples.
Which Parent Pays Child Support in a Joint Custody Situation?
Once the judge decides who the child should live with, i.e., who gets primary custody, he or she will order the non-custodial parent to pay child support following state guidelines. The non-custodial parent is the one the child spends the least time with. Every child support is different and there may be exceptions – speak to an attorney to discuss your specific case.
What Should I Do if I Have Questions or Need to Change My Current Child Support Order?
If you have questions or wish to look into requesting modifications of your current custody and/or support arrangements, your first step should be to consult a skilled family law attorney to learn your options. At ALP Law Firm, our legal team has been serving countless families in the Bellaire, TX region and is ready to answer all your child support and custody questions. Contact us today!