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Posted on in Divorce

Fort Bend County child custody attorney

The divorce process is filled with its fair share of trials and tribulations. You first must come to the decision that divorce is you and your spouse’s best option, followed by hiring an experienced divorce attorney to represent you. Finally, you will have to make difficult decisions about your future.

When children are involved, emotions often complicate matters. Not only will your parenting arrangements change, but you will also be subject to receiving or paying child support. Many parents find the co-parenting adjustment to be the most difficult part of divorce as it differs significantly from what they have done since their child was born. Understanding how child custody, or conservatorship, works in Texas is important for preparing yourself for the custody determination process.

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Sugarland child support lawyer

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:

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Houston child custody attorneyChild custody agreements rarely please everyone involved. Divorce requires making lots of compromises, especially in terms of parenting time. While this can be frustrating, an unsatisfactory agreement is not grounds for changing the child custody and parenting plan. However, there are some situations that warrant an adjustment. The purpose of these agreements is to put the child’s best interests above the parents’ opinions, and if the parenting plan no longer reflects that, modifications can be requested.

Reasons to Request Changes

Consistent schedules and routines are beneficial for a child’s sense of stability, which is why courts are hesitant to make adjustments to child custody. The following are instances that can cause the court to consider modifying a divorce order that has been put in place:

  1. Your child may be in danger: It is not uncommon for couples to get divorced due to physical, mental, or emotional abuse or because of their former spouse’s addiction to alcohol or drugs. While many parents try to keep their bad habits away from their children, some fail to do so. The court will evaluate the level of danger that the child may be exposed to by looking at past proof of the parent’s reckless behavior and speaking with the child about his or her home life. A child’s facial features or lack of words can be just as telling as a full testimony, and if the court determines that the child's safety is at risk, the custody arrangements may be changed as necessary.

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Sugarland divorce lawyerDivorce is very common these days. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States end up getting divorced, and the rate of divorce is even higher for subsequent marriages. Even if it is mutual between both partners, the divorce process can be difficult for everyone, especially if children are involved. Many factors need to be considered, including property division, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and more. The entire process can take several months and should be done with the assistance of a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can help you understand the complex legal requirements that must be met.

Texas Divorce Laws

To file for divorce in Texas, the law states that either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing, and they must have resided in the county where the petition for divorce is filed for the prior 90 days. Unlike some other states, spouses do not need to be officially “separated” for a certain period of time before filing for divorce. In addition to allowing for “no-fault” divorce based on the insupportability of the marriage, Texas grants divorces based on the following fault-based grounds: adultery, cruelty (abuse), felony conviction, and abandonment.

Texas is a community property state. This means that all property acquired during the marriage is equally owned by both spouses, and therefore, this property should be equally divided in the event of a divorce. However, if one spouse is at fault for the breakup of the marriage, the court may take that into consideration when determining how to divide the couple's property.

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