Raising a child is expensive, and when the parents of a child live in separate homes, one parent may be unable to bear child-rearing costs on his or her own. Thus, in many cases, one parent must pay child support to the other parent. Although it is in the best interests of all parties for the parents to come to an agreement regarding child support, they often are unable to do so, so they may rely on a court to establish a child support arrangement. If you wish to pursue child support from the co-parent of your child, or if you have received legal papers instituting a support action, you should speak with a Dallas Fort Worth child support lawyer regarding your duties and rights. At Powell Law Offices, we will zealously advocate on your behalf to help you seek a successful outcome in consideration of the facts of your case.Child Support and Child Custody
In Texas child custody cases, the court will ultimately issue an order setting forth a parenting plan. The plan will establish conservatorship and possession and access. It may impose an obligation on one parent to pay child support. The court cannot set forth an order stating that the right to access to, or possession of, the child is contingent on child support payments. In cases in which a parent is deemed the primary or sole conservator, however, the court can impose a child support obligation on the other parent. The court also can impose a support obligation on either parent when the parents are named as joint conservators.Length of a Child Support Obligation
While a child support obligation generally continues until a child graduates from high school or reaches the age of majority, there are cases in which the duration of payments will be shorter or longer. A child support attorney in Dallas Fort Worth can advise you on how long your obligation may last. For example, if a child has a disability, a parent’s support obligation may continue indefinitely. Conversely, if a child is emancipated prior to when a child support obligation would normally cease, the paying parent will no longer need to make child support payments.Determining a Child Support Obligation
The Texas child support guidelines describe how support should be determined in most cases. Specifically, a support obligation will be based on the monthly net resources of the parent paying the support and the number of children supported. The paying parent's salary, wages, rental income, trusts, interest, and dividends are all considered part of his or her net resources. If only one child is being supported under the order, the guidelines dictate that the parent paying support owes 20 percent of his or her net resources. The guidelines stipulate that the support obligation should increase by five percent per child, capped at 40 percent for five children. If the parent paying support is also supporting children in another household, his or her support obligation may be adjusted. A Dallas Fort Worth child support attorney can help you seek this type of adjustment.
It is important to note that the child support guidelines were drafted to apply to cases in which the net monthly resources of the parent paying support are not greater than $7,500. As a result, when the paying parent’s resources exceed $7,500, the court will apply the guidelines to the amount under $7,500 but may order additional support if it deems it appropriate.Meet with an Experienced Dallas Fort Worth Attorney
If you wish to seek child support, or if you may need to pay support, it is important to speak with an attorney regarding your duties and rights under the law. The knowledgeable family law attorneys at Powell Law Offices have the skills and experience needed to help you seek a result that is favorable to you and protects your child. From offices in Grapevine and McKinney, we regularly represent people in family law matters in cities throughout Dallas and Tarrant Counties. You can reach us at (972) 584-9382 or through our online form to set up a confidential and free meeting with a child support lawyer in the Dallas Fort Worth area.