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Collin County Child Support Lawyer

Parker TX child support lawyer

Attorney for Child Support Orders Between Divorced and Unmarried Parents in Plano, TX

Most parents understand that providing financial support for their children is one of their most important responsibilities. However, in Texas family court cases, there is often confusion and uncertainty surrounding a parent's obligations because of the complexities of the state's child support laws. In some cases, this can lead to resentment and animosity between parents, leaving the children to bear the brunt of the effects.

For any legal matter in which child support is a factor, it is crucial that you are represented by an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and obligations. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we have served Texas families for 10 years, and we strive to listen to our clients' stories and understand their concerns. We can help you work toward a child support order that protects your financial interests, and most importantly, ensures that your children have the resources they need.

When is Child Support Ordered in Texas?

Child support is a common element in many Texas divorce cases, particularly when the spouses share a child who is under the age of 18. Because the parents will no longer be living in the same household and sharing financial resources, one parent will typically be ordered to make regular child support payments to the other. Child support may also be ordered for children above the age of 18 who have not yet graduated from high school, or who have disabilities that prevent them from providing for themselves.

Child support is also ordered when a child is born to parents who are not married. In order to secure child support in this case, the child's legal paternity must be established first. Usually, this means that both parents will need to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or one of the parents will need to petition for adjudication of paternity in court, which often involves DNA testing to confirm that a man is the child's biological father.

Determining the Details of a Texas Child Support Order

In either of the above cases, the non-custodial parent, meaning the parent with the smaller percentage of physical custody (also known as possessory conservatorship) will have the obligation to pay. Typically, the paying parent will have a portion of their income periodically withheld and transferred to the Child Support Division within the Texas Office of the Attorney General, who will disburse the payments to the receiving parent. However, figuring out the appropriate amount to withhold can be quite complicated.

The most important factor in calculating child support is the paying parent's monthly net resources. This parent will need to provide the court with information about a wide variety of income sources, including wages, business or self-employment income, rental income, interest, capital gains, and certain types of benefits. The court will then subtract the parent's tax obligations and other qualifying expenses from their gross income to determine the resources they have available for child support.

For the purposes of child support, Texas caps a parent's monthly net resources at $9,200 as of 2019, with this figure being reviewed and updated every six years. The standard guidelines require a parent to pay 20 percent of their net resources as support for one child, or up to 40 percent for five children or more. However, the court can make adjustments from these guidelines based on factors including a child's extraordinary needs, custody arrangements, child care and travel costs, and the parents' resources.

Enforcing and Modifying Child Support

Child support orders are legally binding, and you have the right to petition the court for enforcement of the order if your child's other parent misses payments. Violating a child support order can result in serious financial and legal consequences. However, either parent also has the right to petition for the review and modification of the order after three years or a substantial change in circumstances, which can help to protect a parent from unnecessary financial hardship.

Contact a Murphy, TX Child Support Attorney

We can represent you in your divorce, paternity, enforcement, or modification case to help you ensure that child support is handled fairly and appropriately. For a free consultation, contact us today at 972-422-2424. We serve clients in Murphy, Plano, Parker, Sachse, Wylie, Lucas, and throughout Collin County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, and the surrounding areas.

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