When a child is born, both the parents are blessed with the benefits of parenthood along with the duties and responsibilities. Most parents believe those duties and responsibilities last a lifetime. In the eyes of the law, however, they last until the child reaches the age of majority (18). As such, if the parents do not live together during that time period, the law imposes a financial obligation on one parent to ensure that he/she continues to contribute to the child’s care and maintenance. If you are the parent of a minor child, and you are contemplating divorce, you probably want to know how much child support you would be required to pay post-divorce. Child support attorneys at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd explain how support is calculated in Texas.
Texas Divorce Law Basics
In the State of Texas, the terms “custody” and “visitation” are not recognized when discussing the rights and responsibilities of the parent of a minor child post-divorce. Instead, the law refers to “conservatorship” of the minor child as well as “possession and access” to the child. Typically, one parent is granted managing conservatorship of the child, meaning that the child lives with that parent the majority of the time. Both parents, however, remain financially responsible for the child’s care and maintenance. Consequently, a child support order will be included in the Parenting Plan filed with the court. The Parenting Plan is basically exactly what the name implies – a plan for the parents post-divorce. The Parenting Plan includes things such as what type of conservatorship each parent has and the parenting time schedule. Ideally, the parents are able to reach an agreement, outside of the courtroom, to all the terms included in the Parenting Plan. In that case, the plan is submitted to the court for approval and, once approved, becomes part of the final decree of divorce. If the parents cannot agree to any of the terms that must be part of the plan, the matter is set for a hearing and the court will decide the contested issues.