Child Support Lawyers in Pearland
Helping Harris County & Surrounding Areas Residents Create Legally Sound Payment Plans
Whether you are in the process of filing for divorce, or working to modify existing support arrangements, child support can be an incredibly contentious issue in any family law case. In Texas, the law imposes a duty on any parent to financially support their children, even if they do not have physical possession of them. Child support is intended to help the other parent with the expenses in raising a child. The duty of support is one owed to the child – not the other party – meaning that even if that child is raised by a non-parent, i.e. a grandparent, a biological parent may still be ordered to pay child support.
How to Determine Who Pays Child Support
Generally, in Texas, the non-custodial parent pays child support. This is the party that does not have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child. The custodial parent is expected to use the child support money for the care and maintenance of the child. With court approval and if in the best interest of the child, the parties can agree to go without child support, especially if possession is split evenly between the parties and their income is like one another.
Calculating Child Support in Texas
Texas is one of the few states that uses a basic percentage of income in calculating child support. All income is included for child support purposes.
The support statute in Texas is broad and includes:
- all wages (income, tips, bonuses, and dividends or royalties)
- net rental income
- any other income actually received, including per diem, disability, and spousal maintenance
The guidelines are based on a monthly gross income of $8,550.00 although the court can deviate from these guidelines.
Next, the court will look to the number of children the paying party has to determine the percentage he or she will need to pay, as follows:
- One child: 20%
- Two children: 25%
- Three children: 30%
- Four children: 35%
- Five children: 40%
- Six children: no less than 40%
The obligor, i.e. the party ordered to pay child support, may be entitled to a reduction in the guidelines if they have other children. Therefore, for example, if you have 2 kids with different persons, you may pay 17.5% as opposed to 20%.
How to Pay for Child Support
The state of Texas allows the parties to pay their child support obligations in a number of ways. If the parties get along well enough, they can pay child support directly to the other party, via cash, check or even electronic transfer (like Venmo or Paypal). It is recommended that the party paying always indicates that the transfer is for child support, in the event of a dispute.
The parties can also pay directly through the State Disbursement Unit in the same way. The advantage to paying through this agency is that the state tracks all the payments. In the event there is some disagreement, there is a centralized database that can be used to determine the truth. The child support payments are usually taken directly out of their paycheck.
Modifying a Child Support Order
Child support orders can be modified if it has been at least 3 years since the order was entered and the monthly amount of the child support award changes by either:
- 20% of $100; or
- if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances.
Usually, the party requesting a modification under the latter grounds must demonstrate that the paying parent’s income has changed, they are legally responsible for more children, their insurance coverage has changed, or living arrangements have changed.
Let Our Attorneys Help You Create a Support Plan
At The Dieye Firm, our Pearland child support lawyers can help you prepare for the possibility of paying child support and counsel you as to the best approach to take when paying. We will advocate for your rights and ensure that you receive the correct amount of support for your children.
When I needed a lawyer - he was the only person that I called.- Sharmain
Professional, personable, and readily available for any questions or concerns.- Kim
I would definitely recommend him to friends and family.- Osmin
I can't express how grateful I am to have come across this firm.- Former Client
The man deals with facts and does not stand on shaky grounds.- Larry