Articles Posted in Child Support

Do You Need a Family Law Attorney for Child Support?
It is a cold, hard fact: at least 40% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. While younger couples nowadays are taking extra effort toward saving their marriage, some still end in divorce. A highly emotional and often turbulent process that affects children more than the husband and wife.

The law believes that child support is the fundamental right of a child, no matter the outcome of their parents’ relationship. And if you’re in the middle of a divorce and fighting for child support, you will need all the help you can get from a family law attorney.

A Family Law Attorney is Well-Versed in Helping their Clients:

Things to Know About Child Support in Texas
A recent study revealed that millennial Americans are 50% less likely to get divorced. But while the younger generations are more committed to staying married, the divorce rate across the United States is still high enough, which means that many couples still see no other solution to marital issues rather than divorce.

When divorce is inevitable, one thing almost always comes to mind: what about the children? Here are some of the things to be aware of with child support if you’re in Texas:

Raising a Child should be a Shared Responsibility by Both Parents

Plano child support attorneysAs any parent knows, children can be expensive. Knowing that, legislators have enacted laws that strongly encourage both parents of a minor child to continue to contribute to the child’s financial support despite a divorce or despite the fact that the parents were never married. If you were ordered to pay child support but are behind on your payments, for any reason, you need to understand the potential consequences you could face as a result. The Plano child support attorneys at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd explain what happens if you don’t pay as ordered in the State of Texas.

When Is Child Support Ordered and How Is It Calculated in Texas?

The law requires both parents of a minor child to remain financially responsible for the child until the child reaches the age of majority. If the parents are married, the law assumes that both parents are contributing to the care and maintenance of the child. If the parents divorce, however, the court will typically require the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial (known as the “managing conservator” in Texas) parent. If the child was born out of wedlock, to unmarried parents, child support will usually be ordered as part of a paternity action.

child supportIf you are a non-custodial parent of a minor child, you are likely under a court order to pay child support for your child. That order was likely part of a divorce proceeding or the result of a petition to establish paternity of the minor child. Whether you have been paying child support for a short period of time or for many years, you may reach a point at which you fall behind on your child support payments, leaving you to wonder what you should do. The absolute worst thing you can do if you fall behind on your payments is to do nothing. Instead, consulting with an experienced Texas child support lawyer to discuss any legal options you may have to remedy your situation is in your best interest.

Your Child Support Obligation

Child support often gets mixed up with other issues relating to the minor child. Sometimes, for example, a non-custodial parent stops paying support because the custodial parent won’t allow him/her to spend time with the child. Conversely, a non-custodial parent may also stop paying support because he/she reunites with the custodial parent and doesn’t see the point in paying support when the family is living together once again. If you are the non-custodial parent, however, it is imperative to understand that your child support is a court ordered obligation. Consequently, only a court can modify or terminate your child support payments. It does not matter if you think you have a legitimate reason to stop paying, nor does it matter if the other parent has agreed to accept less or even forego payment altogether. Only a judge can modify or terminate your child support obligation. Therefore, if you fall behind on your scheduled payments, you need to address the issue right away.

Texas Child Support LawyerWhen the parents of a minor child live together, both parents are assumed to be contributing to the financial support and emotional growth of the child. If the parents decide to end the marriage, or otherwise live apart, the law imposes a legal obligation on both parents to continue to contribute to the child’s support and maintenance. For the non-custodial parent, this is accomplished through the payment of child support. Once a child support order is established, you are obligated to pay the court ordered amount each month or face sanctions. What happens, however, if you cannot pay? To find out, we asked a Texas child support lawyer “What happens if I lose my job?”

When Is Child Support Initially Ordered?

Child support is typically ordered when the parents of a minor child decide to end the marriage or through a paternity action for a child born out of wedlock.  When child support is part of a divorce, it will be ordered as a provision in the final judgment of divorce. If a child is born out of wedlock, something that is much more common in the 21st century, the putative father must legally establish paternity over the child. Establishing paternity accomplish two things. First, it gives the father legal rights to the child, such as the right to parenting time and the right to access to the child’s medical records. Second, it creates a legal obligation for the father to financially contribute to the care and maintenance of the child until the child reaches adulthood. Consequently, when paternity is legally established through a formal paternity action, the court will typically order child support as part of the court’s final orders.

McKinney Divorce LawyerYou are probably aware that both parents of a minor child have a legal obligation to provide financial support for that child until the child reaches the age of majority (in most cases). If the parents of that child are not married, one parent typically pays child support to the other parent to satisfy his/her legal support obligation. What you may not be as clear on is who is responsible for healthcare costs and medical insurance premium payments for minor children when the parents are not married. It is always best to consult with an experienced divorce attorney about the details of your specific situation; however, a McKinney divorce lawyer offers some basic information and guidelines for the payment of healthcare expenses for children in a divorce.

A Parent’s Obligation

When the parents of a minor child decide to divorce, or never marry to begin with, the law imposes an obligation on both parents to contribute to the care and maintenance of the child until the child reaches the age of majority, or longer in some cases. In the case of a divorce, this legal obligation is addressed over the course of the divorce proceedings and resolved by agreement of the parties or by court order before the divorce can be finalized. If the child was born out of wedlock, the same issues are resolved when paternity is legally established. Contributing to a child’s medical expenses is not voluntary. Just as child support is a legal obligation, so is contributing to healthcare costs for your child in the State of Texas. In fact, federal law also places a legal obligation on parents to contribute to healthcare expenses for a child.

Plano Father's Rights Attorney When the parents of a minor child decide to divorce, a number of important issues relating to the child must be resolved during the subsequent divorce proceedings. Because the law imposes a financial duty on both parents to continue to support the child until the child reaches adulthood, one parent is typically ordered to pay child support to the other parent post-divorce. The amount of child support is determined at the time of the divorce and entered as an order of the court in the final decree. If you are the parent ordered to pay child support, and your ex is now asking for more support, what should you do? Although every situation is unique, a Plano father’s rights attorney explains how a request to increase child support is usually handled.

The Divorce Process

When there is a minor child involved in a divorce, the law requires the parties to submit a Parenting Plan for court approval during the divorce process. The Parenting Plan is essentially a roadmap for the parents to follow post-divorce. Among other things, the plan should include the child support arrangements between the parties. Once the plan has been accepted by the court, and the divorce is final, the child support becomes an order of the court. Failing to follow the terms of the plan, including failing to pay child support, can be considered contempt of court. If either of the parties wish to change anything in the Parenting Plan it requires court approval.

McKinney father's rights lawyerIf you are planning to pursue a divorce that involves minor children in McKinney, Texas, one of the most important aspects of the divorce for both parties will likely be the determination of child support. Divorce clearly has an emotional impact on everyone involved; however, the financial impact of a divorce cannot be forgotten as well. Whether you are the party who will be paying child support, or the party who will be receiving support, you have a vested interest in understanding how child support works in Texas. Because of the unique nature of a divorce proceeding it is always in your best interest to consult directly with an experienced Texas divorce attorney with specific questions. In an effort to provide some general guidance, however, a McKinney father’s rights lawyer explains how child support is typically calculated in Texas.

Understanding Some Important Terms

The amount of legal jargon a party must learn when involved in the court system can be intimidating – yet essential to a full understanding of the issues. First, the terms “conservator” and “possession and access” need to be explained. In Texas, the “conservator” of a minor child has the legal right to make major decisions regarding the child. You can be granted sole or joint conservator of a minor child. “Possession and access” refers to with whom the child physically lives the majority of the time. If you are the parent in possession of the child, it means the child resides with you most of the time. When the issue being discussed is child support, you also need to know the difference between the obligor and obligee. The obligor is the person who is ordered to pay child support and is almost always the parent who is not the parent in possession of the child. The obligee is the parent who receives the child support and is almost always the parent who is in possession of the child. Finally, when child support is discussed, the term “Guidelines” is often heard. “Guidelines” refers to the Texas Child Support Guidelines that were established by law and that help determine how much a party is ordered to pay in child support. Although it is possible to deviate from the Guidelines, they are “presumed to be reasonable and an order of support conforming to the guidelines is presumed to be in the best interest of the child.”

Frisco divorce lawyerWhen the parents of a minor child get divorced, or are not married to begin with, a court will impose a financial obligation on the non-custodial parent through the use of a child support order. Child support, however, is one of the few court orders that is routinely revisited and modified after the original order s entered. If you find yourself wishing your Frisco, Texas child support order could be modified, it may be time to consult with a Frisco divorce lawyer.

How Is Child Support Initially Determined?

The law holds both parents financially responsible for the support of a minor child until the child reaches the age of majority. Child support may be ordered through either a divorce or a paternity action. If he parents are married at the time the child is born, and later divorce, child support will be ordered as part of the divorce settlement or award. If the child is born out of wedlock, child support may be ordered when paternity is legally established as part of a paternity action. The amount of your initial child support order will be calculated using your income, any allowable deductions, and the number of children covered by the support.

Plano father’s rights lawyerChild support is originally ordered when the parents of a minor child go through a divorce or when paternity of a child is established if the child was born out of wedlock. Child support is an order of the court. As such, you could face serious consequences for violating that order by not paying your support as ordered by the court. It also means that only a court can lower your child support, or modify the support order in any way. If you were ordered to pay child support in the State of Texas and you are struggling to make your monthly payments, it may be possible to get your support amount lowered. You should consult with a Plano father’s rights lawyer immediately if you find yourself unable to make your child support payments because a modification could be an option.

Do Not Violate the Court Order!

Whether your child support payments were ordered as part of a divorce or when you established paternity of your child, the support order is an order of the court. Any order from a court should be taken very seriously. Child support orders, however, are particularly important to obey because there are additional potential consequences for a violation above and beyond what the court may order as your punishment. For example, your tax return could be confiscated, your wages could be garnished, and in many states your driver’s license can even be suspended or revoked. In addition, unlike most debts, including most judgments, child support cannot be bankrupted. Therefore, it is in your best interest not to violate your court ordered child support payments.

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