Even in the midst of a divorce or separation, parents have the responsibility to provide for the financial needs of their children. As a way to ensure that the children’s needs are being met by both parents, the court will usually order the noncustodial parent to pay some form of child support. This is the parent who spends less time with the child and is paid to the parent who has primary custody.
Child support can be a contentious matter wherein parents may disagree or contest the payment that is required through the application of Texas child support guidelines. Other issues that can arise are the need for enforcement or modification of child support court orders. At the Law Offices of Lisa G. Garza, P.C., our Dallas child support attorneys can assist with any child support matter, whether it is one involving a pending divorce, paternity case, or an issue that has arisen after a court order has been established.
The state of Texas expects parents to financially provide for their children until those children turn 18 or graduate from high school. To facilitate the matter of financial support, the state provides child support guidelines to be used for the calculation of support payments that a divorced or unmarried parent is expected to pay. The calculation takes into consideration several factors that are used to produce a monthly payment amount.
These factors include:
- Parental net income after deductions have been applied, such as taxes, union dues, or health insurance premiums
- The number of children being supported
- The number of children from previous relationships that are being supported
The courts presume that the calculation of child support payments per a mechanical application of the guidelines will result in a payment that is fair and reasonable. However, this may not always be the case, and the courts have the authority to adjust payments depending on the circumstances of the case.
The courts will look at many factors when deviations from the calculated payment are on the table. This can include how much time the child spends with each parent, parental ability to pay, the age and needs of the child and if special needs exist, whether spousal maintenance is a factor for either parent, whether a parent is paying for a child’s college education, the financial resources of the custodial parent, and more. When the court is asked to deviate from the amount calculated by the guidelines, it must back up its decision in writing.
If you are involved in a contested child support matter, you can rely on an accomplished Dallas child support lawyer such as Lisa Garza to ensure that your specific needs are conveyed to the court. Our firm can represent the best interests of you and your child in determining a support payment that is fair and just.
Discuss your concerns in a confidential consultation. Contact the Law Offices of Lisa G. Garza, P.C. at (972) 645-3836 to get started.