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Fort Worth Child Support Lawyer

It is every parent’s responsibility to support their children financially, and when parents are no longer together, the child support system helps to ensure that this responsibility remains balanced between both parents. A wide range of primary factors go into the child support calculation process, but the primary focus of Texas courts is always the overall best interests of the children involved. If you have questions or concerns related to child support, it’s time to reach out to an experienced Fort Worth child support attorney.

The Guiding Child Support Factors

When it comes to the calculation of child support in Texas, there is a set process. There are instances, however, when Texas courts stray from the basic guidelines, and the factors that guide their decisions in these instances include the following:

  • Each child’s age and unique needs, including any special needs that require special services
  • Each parent’s financial ability to contribute, including any non-cash compensation such as for housing or car expenses
  • The overall financial resources available for the support of the children
  • The number of overnights the parenting time schedule affords each parent
  • The cost of childcare
  • The cost of health insurance and uninsured medical expenses
  • The cost of travel related to visitation
  • Any additional factors that the court considers relevant to the child support case at hand.

Calculating Child Support

In Texas, child support is typically calculated according to the following percentages:

  • The parent responsible for paying child support pays 20 percent of their net monthly income for one child.
  • The parent responsible for paying child support pays 25 percent of their net monthly income for two children.
  • The parent responsible for paying child support pays 30 percent of their net monthly income for three children.
  • The parent responsible for paying child support pays 35 percent of their net monthly income for four children.
  • The parent responsible for paying child support pays 40 percent of their net monthly income for five children.

Beyond five children, the parent who is responsible for paying child support pays no less than 40 percent of their net monthly income.

Net Monthly Earnings

Child support payments are based on net monthly earnings, which is determined in accordance with several basic steps.

Gross Yearly Income

To begin, each parent’s total earnings for the year are assessed, which include all the following:

  • All wages and salary
  • All income from self-employment
  • All interest earnings
  • All dividends received
  • Any other income received, including from disability, social security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment

When compiled, this amounts to the parent’s gross yearly income.

Gross Monthly Income

The amount rendered by the gross yearly income calculation is divided by 12, and the result is the gross monthly income.

Net Monthly Income

Once the gross monthly income is derived, standard monthly deductions like the following are subtracted:

  • Social security tax
  • State and federal income tax
  • Health insurance payments for the children’s coverage
  • Union dues

The amount that remains is the parent’s net monthly income, and this is what guides the calculation of child support.

It is important to note here that when a parent purposefully earns less than they could or is unemployed by design – in an effort to minimize their child support obligation – Texas courts take a dim view. As such, the court can impute earnings that correlate with the parent’s ability to earn and use this number as a stand-in for their actual net monthly income.

 

Caps and Minimums Set by the State

The State of Texas sets a basic minimum child support amount, and child support payments generally don’t dip below this limitation. The state also, however, sets an income cap, which currently stands at $9,200. When the monthly net income of the parent who is paying child support exceeds this limitation, the child support amount is based on this cap.

In order for child support to exceed this amount, the parent who receives the payments is required to convince the court that doing so is in the best interests of the children as a result of some prevailing circumstance. While Texas courts generally follow state guidelines, they also have considerable discretion in the matter.

Child Support and Child Custody Are Separate Concerns

It is important to recognize that child support and child custody are separate legal matters that cannot be leveraged against one another. Courts hand down these orders in response to the involved children’s best interests, and they are legally binding. When a parent decides to withhold child support in response to the other parent’s failure to follow the parenting plan, they go outside the confines of the law and can be sanctioned for it. The same is true when a parent withholds parenting time as a means of protesting the other parent’s failure to pay child support.

Failure to live up to either responsibility can land you on the wrong side of the law. If your ex is engaging in either of these practices, the available recourse is proceeding through the appropriate legal channels. In the end, judges set parenting plans that are intended to maximize the amount of time the children are able to spend with both parents. This is considered a universally beneficial approach – except in extreme situations that require strict parenting time limitations.

When a parent takes it upon themself to limit their children’s time with their other parent or to limit their financial support, it is not in keeping with the children’s best interests and is not tolerated by the court.

Talk to an Experienced Child Support Attorney for the Help You Need in Fort Worth

Child support can be a contentious issue, but it doesn’t have to be with the right legal assistance. The compassionate child support attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Forth Worth Family Law recognize the serious nature of your child support concern and dedicate their imposing practice to skillfully advocating for a resolution that is in keeping with your rights and that works for your family. For more information about how we can help, please don’t put off contacting us today.

 

Answers To Your Most Commonly Asked Questions

The right place where you cand find the answers to your questions regarding family law

When parents can agree on who their children will live with, how to share in rights and decision making, and a parenting time schedule, the Court will often approve this agreement. If parents cannot agree, then the Judge will make custody decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the children.

The following factors are frequently considered by Courts in determining a child’s best interest: parenting abilities, plans for the child, home stability, your child’s desires, your child’s emotional and physical needs, and whether there is a concern of emotional and physical danger to your child.

Custody orders in Texas are referred to as a parenting plan. The parenting plan addresses issues such as who your child will live with, what rights each parent has, where your child will go to school, and how the parents will share possession. The parenting plan can be very detailed and address concerns or issues unique to your child. If a parent has problems with drugs or alcohol, this can be addressed in your parenting plan to assure the safety of your child. If your child has special needs, these can be addressed in your parenting plan to assure that your child is properly provided for.

If you are involved in a child custody case, you need an attorney who will fight to protect you and your child’s future. The child custody lawyers at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth have more than 75 years of experience helping families navigate through the family law system, and we will work with you to develop a customized gameplan for your case and for reaching your goals to protect your child.

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817-900-8330

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    I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

    Loyd Camp
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    Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

    Donna DeTomaso
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    Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

    William Hawthorne
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    Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

    C Grucza
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    I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

    Dante Martinez
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    Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

    Autumn Colson
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    Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

    James Homerstad
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    Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

    Heather Varon
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    Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

    Misty Benson
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    Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

    Phuc Lam

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