Child Support Lawyer in Houston, TX
Child custody and child support in Texas can be complex and confusing processes for parents. When parents are no longer together, they must decide how to divide their parental responsibilities and how to provide financial support for their children. This can be a difficult process, but it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations as a parent in order to make the best decisions possible.
Child custody in Texas is referred to as “conservatorship.” A court will determine conservatorship during either a divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (aka a SAPCR). In determining custody, the court considers the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs and looks at the ability of the parents to meet those needs. The court will also look at the relationship between the parents, the child’s wishes, and any other factors that may affect the child’s best interests.
Child custody can be joint managing or sole managing conservatorship. Joint custody means that both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. Sole custody means that one parent has decision-making authority for the child and physical custody of the child, and the other parent will typically have rights to possession and access to the child with limited decision-making authority.
The court presumes joint conservatorship is best for a child unless there is a history of abuse or neglect or if one parent is deemed to be unsafe or otherwise unfit to have custody of the child. It is important to note that even in joint custody arrangements, one parent may be deemed the primary parent and named the custodial parent. The other parent may be deemed the noncustodial parent and will be required to pay child support to the primary parent.
Frequently Asked Question
What is child support?
When it comes to providing financial support for a child, the laws in Texas are designed to ensure that children are taken care of financially. Child support is the term used to describe the money that one parent is obligated to pay the other parent in order to help provide for the basic needs of their child. In Texas, both parents are legally responsible for the financial support of their children, regardless of who has primary physical custody of them.
How is child support determined in Texas?
Under Texas law, both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children. Where the parents are unable to agree, a court will order them to pay child support to assist the order in providing for their children. A court will decide how much child support an obligor parent shall pay based on the Texas Child Support Guidelines.
The guidelines are based on the obligor parent’s net income and the number of children the obligor has a legal obligation to support. Texas courts will look at a variety of factors when determining child support. These factors include the child’s needs, the parents’ monthly income and resources, the child’s age, the standard of living the child would have if the parents were still together, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
The court also looks at any special needs the child may have. Child support payments may be ordered until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. The court may also order a parent to continue to make payments after the child turns 18 if the child is still attending school, has special needs, or is disabled.
Can the court deviate from the Texas Child Support Guidelines?
It is important to understand that the Texas Child Support Guidelines are just that – guidelines. In some cases, the court may deviate from the guidelines if both parents agree to an amount that is different from the guideline amount.
For instance, the court may consider additional factors, such as the parent's income and the costs of caring for the child, in determining the amount of child support. In addition to the basic monthly child support amount, the court will also order the non-custodial parent to pay additional child support for medical care and dental care. If feasible, the court can also order the custodial parent or non-custodial parent to provide health insurance and or dental coverage for the children.
How can a child support lawyer help?
If you're a parent in Texas and need help understanding the child support laws in the state, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced child support attorney. An attorney can help you understand the child support obligations and ensure that you follow them. They can also provide you with legal advice regarding child support issues and help you navigate the court system if you need to take action to ensure you get the support you need.
Why schedule a consultation with a Houston family lawyer?
Regardless of the type of child custody arrangement, it is important to remember that both parents have the responsibility to provide financial support for the children. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney in order to understand your legal rights and obligations in Texas.
A qualified and knowledgeable child support attorney will understand all facets of family law and legal issues, including custody agreements, visitation rights, child support, and modifications to existing orders. They can also provide guidance on court proceedings, advocacy for your parental rights under the law, and ensure that agreement terms are adhered to. Furthermore, a good lawyer will be able to assist in creating an equitable settlement that protects your rights to parent your child.
With a skilled attorney at your disposal to protect your legal rights throughout this difficult time, you may find yourself saving time and money as you seek out the best possible outcome for you and your children.