If you are going through a divorce and have children from your marriage, child support payments from one party to the other are practically inevitable. Child support payments are usually required from the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not "house" the child as frequently as his or her former spouse. However, even if the child’s living arrangements are split between each parent 50/50, the higher-earning parent will often still provide some form of child support payments to keep the child’s lifestyle consistent, regardless of the house in which he or she is residing.
How Are Child Support Payments Calculated?
Most states, including Texas, utilize an equation to calculate the level of child support owed by the non-custodial parent. While this is neither the sole means used nor the final calculation done, it acts as a baseline for child support payment amounts. The calculation begins with determining the non-custodial parent's monthly resources. The individual’s yearly gross income will be divided by 12, then tax payments will be deducted from the amount. Next, the number of children eligible will be determined. Children will receive child support while they are under the age of 18 or until they graduate high school, whichever is later. The percentage of a parent's income allotted to children depends on how many children are eligible for support. The following are the percentages of monthly resources owed in child support based on the number of children involved in the court case:
The percentage decreases slightly if the paying parent has one or more children from a previous relationship for whom he or she is already paying child support.
What Other Factors Do Judges Look At?
The purpose of child support is to ensure that children's ongoing needs are provided for. Although the non-custodial parent’s income has the most influence when determining what will meet children's needs, there are various other factors that may be considered. The child’s needs are looked at first. Health insurance, education, and daycare costs are important. A child with special needs will also be given different attention. A parent with a child who has extensive health concerns may need to receive additional support from the other parent to address the high costs of the child's healthcare.
In some cases, a parent may be able to request a deviation from the child support guidelines based on factors such as the income earned by the custodial parent or extraordinary expenses that affect a non-custodial parent's ability to make payments. Life-altering events, such as illness or the loss of a job, can also affect a parents ability to pay child support, and in these cases, they may request a modification to child support payments.
Contact a Houston, TX Child Divorce Lawyer
Whether you are the child support payer or the recipient, it is important to ensure that the payments are determined correctly in order to meet children's needs. For the parent who is paying, it is crucial to ensure that the required payment is a fair amount. For those receiving the money each month, it is important that the payments are on time and will provide for the child’s comfort and safety. At The Foray Firm, we have years of experience working with parents to address issues related to child support. If you are a parent who is going through a divorce, contact our Fort Bend County child support attorneys at 832-919-6400 for assistance.