Child Support Attorney Dallas Fort Worth
Under Texas law, a court may order one or both of the parents to pay a certain percentage of his or her income in child support. However, it is usually the non-custodial parent (the parent that spends less time with the child or children) who must pay child support to the custodial parent, who is the parent who cares for the child or the children the majority of the time.
Texas law sets out guidelines stating the specific percentages of the percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income he or she must pay, with the percentage based on the number of children at issue. These guidelines are as follows:
- 1 child: 20% of the non-custodial parent’s net income
- 2 children: 25% of the non-custodial parent’s net income
- 3 children: 30% of the non-custodial parent’s net income
- 4 children: 35% of the non-custodial parent’s net income
- 5 children: 40% of the non-custodial parent’s net income
- 6+ children: not less than 40% of the non-custodial parent’s net income.
However, Texas law also allows a parent to contest in court the amount of child support required under the guidelines and request a greater or lesser amount under certain factors set out in the Texas Family Code. These factors include:
- Age and needs of the child;
- Ability of parents to contribute to the support of the child
- Any financial resources available for the support of the child
- Amount of time of possession and access to the child
- Amount of the custodial parent’s net resources
- Childcare expenses incurred by either parent in order to maintain gainful employment
- Amount of spousal maintenance being paid or received by a party
- Expenses for the child for education
- Whether spouse paying or receiving child support has housing, cars or other benefits furnished by a third party, such as an employer.
- Cost of travel in order to see the child
- Debts and cash flows of either party.
- Any other reasons consistent with the best interests of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.
The parent seeking child support must petition the court for a child support order pursuant to these above-stated guidelines. Only an official child support order issued by a court is enforceable by the court and government agencies. An informal verbal or written agreement between the parents that has not been submitted to and signed by a court is not enforceable by a court or any governmental agencies.
A qualified attorney may assist a spouse in ensuring that the child support order entered in their case is fair and reasonable.