We have been successfully handing divorce cases for our clients since 1991. Over that time period, we have literally represented hundreds of women. In fact, our very first divorce client was a woman who had a contested divorce case involving child issues. While representing women, we have noticed that certain issues arise more frequently for them as a group, than for men. This piece will discuss a few of those issues, and then, will offer additional information about how everyone should prepare for an upcoming divorce case.
So, you have a Child Support Order that you believe is no longer right for you, and you want to know if it can be changed. How can you tell?
The Texas Family Code provides that your Child Support Order may be modified if:
- It has been three or more years since the order was established or last modified and the monthly amount of the child support ordered differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to the Child Support Guidelines;
Child Support Law
Texas child support cases can sometimes be a “sticky” matter. The person receiving child support often believes that the amount of child support awarded is not sufficient to raise the child or children. And, the person who is obligated to pay the child support often complains that it doesn’t cost as much to raise a child or children as the amount that is set as child support. This discrepancy appears to be caused by the different prisms through which the “cost of the child” is viewed. Suffice it to say that Moms and Dads tend to view this issue quite differently.
Texas law has attempted to standardize child support awards by imposing Texas Child Support Guidelines—percentages which are presumably in the child’s best interest. And, while it seems easy enough to apply percentages to the amount of income earned, in practice, there may be complicating factors in any particular case, such as the amount of time that each parent is actually in possession of the children; whether any children have “special needs” which require additional costs to be incurred for the child; the costs of extra-curricular activities of the child; high-earning individuals for whom application of strict percentage guidelines would be unjust; travel expenses, and the party responsible for moving away from where the children previously resided.
In Texas child support cases, we do our utmost to resolve your matter efficiently and successfully. Often, the parties are initially unable to agree. Yet, usually, an agreement is ultimately reached, without an actual trial becoming necessary.
In Texas, child support is mandated until the child turns eighteen years of age (unless he/she marries, joins the military, or otherwise becomes emancipated). If the child turns eighteen during high school, child support continues until graduation. In some instances, as when a child is disabled, support may continue indefinitely. Texas does not make provision for college costs, and this is usually worked out between parents.
I practice collaborative law which can be of real benefit to parties in custody and support actions. It provides for a friendlier atmosphere, dials down the rancor, and can produce a better result than litigation. Contact us today to learn more about the child support process. I provide a free 30 minute consultation by phone.