It is no secret that a divorce can put an immense emotional and financial strain on the parties involved as well as those around them. While the overall divorce process is generally stressful, unpacking the complex Texas child support and child custody laws can put added pressure on a couple that is already in a strained relationship. Taking time to learn Texas child support laws can help you understand your rights and obligations so you can feel more secure after dissolving your marriage.
What is child support?
Child support is the regular payments that are meant to meet the needs of the child or children after a divorce. Typically, child support in the state of Texas is made by the non-custodial parent – usually bi-weekly or monthly – to the custodial parent. Depending on the judgment, the custodial parent too may be required to pay child support.
Understanding child support guidelines in Texas
Texas Family Code Section 154 stipulates how child support is calculated. According to the code, the amounts paid in child support are based on a percentage of the monthly net income as well as the number of children in need of support. The child support amount is arrived at by multiplying this percentage by the net monthly income of the non-custodial parent.
To determine the non-custodial parent’s net monthly income, the court will factor their gross income as well as any other sources of income such as social security, retirement payments, pension, as well as income from investments. It is important to note that child support in Texas is only applicable to children under 18 years of age or in high school.
The 50-50 possession
Sometimes, a divorcing couple may agree to equal parenting time, meaning neither has full custody of the child or children. In such instances, the parties can get into a child support deal that works for both. This arrangement is known as “50-50 Possession” and must be approved by the court.
Child support is just one of the many issues you need to attend to when dissolving a marriage. Unfortunately, the process of determining child support in Texas can be complex. A knowledgeable and experienced child support attorney will negotiate and advocate on your behalf to ensure you get the outcome you deserve.