Child support is something the proud state of Texas takes very seriously. The state wants to ensure that all children are provided for and placed in homes that will provide loving and nurturing environments, so when parents come to court to discuss child support and visitation, the courts try to do their best for the child’s sake.
The Law Office of Wendy L. Hart also cares deeply for the welfare of Texas children. Our primary goal is to see that all children receive the care and love they deserve from both parents and to help parents put past grievances aside in favor of their children.
Of course, navigating through child support and its guidelines is no easy task. Here is what you need to know about Texas child support.
How is Child Support Determined?
In Texas, the amount of child support a noncustodial parent (a parent that does not have primary custody of a child) must pay will be determined based on the net income, meaning the pay after all taxes are taken out. The state also has certain guidelines that determine the amount of child support to be paid.
For Texas residents, the base guidelines are:
- One child: 20% taken from noncustodial parent’s new income
- Two children: 25% of net income
- Three children: 30% of net income
- Four children: 35% of net income
- Five or more children: 40% of net income
All noncustodial parents should be aware that even if they are not working, the courts will still order them to pay child support to the primary custodial parent. If you have other children currently living with you, the courts will adjust your payments based on the number of children you are supporting collectively. To help the courts make a fair and realistic order, it is important that you provide as much information as possible.
Not paying child support can have severe ramifications. For example, a person behind in payments may be sentenced to up to six months in jail, depending on how far behind payments are, and be placed on community supervision for up to 10 years. To collect these payments, your wages can be garnished or you may see liens, levies, or IRS interceptions.
If you’re going to court over child support or visitation, it’s vital that you have legal representation by your side. The Law Office of Wendy L. Hart can help you walk into court with confidence and get the order you need to get on top of child support payments and ensure that you get to spend quality time with your children.
Noncustodial Parents and Their Rights
Most noncustodial parents believe that they have very little rights when it comes to the care of their child, but they do in fact have rights. In fact, noncustodial parents can open court cases by applying for child support services online by www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or by calling (800) 252-8014.
Once you schedule a case, you and your attorney and the primary custody parent and his or her attorney will meet in court to discuss visitation rights, child support, or any other issues you would like to discuss.
It is important for noncustodial parents to remember that life changes are not automatically factored into child support charges. For example, if a divorced father remarries and has children with another woman, his child support payments to a child from a previous marriage may be allowed to change. This is not done automatically, even when the father files the marriage license.
In order to modify payments, noncustodial parents must file for a court date by going to the website or calling the number listed above. The only instance where modifying payments may not be needed is when a child becomes emancipated.
The health and welfare of a child is the single most important aspect of any child custody case. All parents, guardians, and other interested parties need to put their wants to the side in favor of protecting the child and ensuring that he or she always has a safe and loving home.
If you need assistance with a child support case, contact the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart. Our firm will work with both parties to come to a fair agreement that puts the child’s interests first. Call our office today and show your child how much you care.