Factors that Determine Child Support

Once you pass the emotional and life-changing dynamics that are part of preparing for divorce, you can focus on re-weaving the fabric of your family. Living arrangements may change, but loving your children is unconditional; they need to feel that especially at this time.

Child Support in Texas

Your Houston child support attorney will help you create the terms and conditions for restructuring your family; he or she may call it a “parenting plan.” The parent who has the children the majority of time is the “custodial parent,” and the other parent is obligated to pay child support. Parents can agree to almost any amount of child support, but the basic State of Texas child support guidelines (for net resources under $8,550/month) are 20% of net resources for one child and an increase of five percent for additional children; for 6 or more children, child support is not less than 40% of net resources.

Factors That Determine Child Support

In order to be “fair and impartial,” the judge is not allowed to consider the sex of either parent, the sex of the child(ren), nor the parents’ current marital status. Technically, child support is meant to cover housing, food, and clothing, but all of us know that raising a child involves much more expense than the cost of basic human needs. Some of the consideration factors your Houston child support attorney may present to the judge include:

  • Additional benefits (company car/housing, for example)
  • Anticipated time with the child
  • Child’s age/needs
  • Childcare expenses
  • Debts
  • Each parent’s ability to contribute to child support
  • Educational expenses
  • Health/medical insurance
  • Income from businesses/investments
  • Other children from previous relationships
  • Other paycheck deductions
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • The noncustodial parent’s employment situation

In Texas, the Attorney General’s office handles unusual or difficult child custody situations, which can include:

  • Collecting/enforcing child support
  • Establishing paternity
  • Finding “deadbeat” or absent parents
  • Modifying child support/medical orders

It’s Not About You

It’s important to keep your spirits up and maintain good health during the stress of a divorce; not only for yourself, but to better care for your children. Consider asking your children to share their feelings and even create their own terms for their new family unit. They might create stipulations such as, “Ice cream every Friday,” but here’s what they truly need both of you to do:

  • Ask questions. Their answers aren’t nearly as important as the fact that you cared enough to ask.
  • Communicate directly with each other – don’t send messages back and forth between the children.
  • Don’t be jealous of each other. Children don’t want to be forced to “take sides.”

There’s no such thing as too much love when it comes to raising children. Your children need both parents. Diane Reul, Board Certified, Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, is a Houston child support attorney proficient in family law. Both parents, working together even during a divorce, is what your children want and need. That is ultimately, the best child support you can offer.