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Decatur Child Support Attorneys

Lawyers for Child Support Orders in Weatherford, Parker County and Wise County

Parents have the obligation to take care of their children financially. While this is not usually a disputed issue for parents who are married or in a long-term relationship, it will likely become a significant concern for parents who choose to divorce or unmarried parents who break up. In Texas family court proceedings, the obligations that apply to parents can be confusing due to the complexity of the state's laws related to child support. This confusion, along with other disputes related to divorce and child custody, can lead to conflict between parents, and kids may experience significant consequences as a result.

Representation from a knowledgeable attorney is absolutely essential in any legal case involving child support or child custody. At J.A. Griffin Law Firm, P.C., we have been providing legal help in Texas family law cases for many years. We will take the time to understand the unique circumstances of your case and listen to your concerns. We can help you find solutions that will meet your children's needs while protecting you from issues that could affect your finances and your ability to support yourself. Our goal is to help you make sure you and your children will have the resources needed to thrive both now and in the future.

Child Support for Divorced or Unmarried Parents

Divorce proceedings in Texas often involve child support. When children will be living primarily with one parent, the other parent will likely be required to pay support to help provide for the children's needs. While child support is typically paid until the child reaches the age of 18, there are some cases where support may continue after this point. Child support may be paid until a child over the age of 18 graduates from high school, or it may last longer if the child has any disabilities or impairments that will affect their ability to become financially independent.

In cases where parents are not married, child support may still be ordered. However, if the parents were unmarried at the time of a child's birth, paternity may be established in order to secure the child's right to receive support from their parent. The parents may sign an acknowledgment of paternity, but if one parent is unwilling to do so, the other may file a petition in court for adjudication of paternity. A paternity case will often involve DNA testing to verify the identity of the child's biological father, and once this has been done, legal paternity may be established, and child support may be ordered.

Calculating Child Support in Texas

In most cases, a parent with possessory conservatorship or who has less possession and access than the other parent will be required to make child support payments. The court may put an order in place requiring the child support obligations to be withheld from the paying parent's income. These amounts will be sent to Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division, and they will then be disbursed to the other parent. When establishing these orders, the amount that will be paid will be calculated based on the factors defined in Texas law.

The amount of child support paid is based on the paying parent's net resources that are available each month. To accurately determine this number, the court will need to review all sources of income earned by the parent, including wages, self-employment earnings, rent payments received, interest from investments and capital gains, and specific types of benefits. After subtracting certain types of taxes and other costs, the resulting amount will be the figure used to calculate the monthly child support payments.

The net resources used to determine child support are currently capped at $9,200 per month, and any income above this amount will not be considered. The monthly cap is reviewed and potentially adjusted every six years, and the next adjustment is scheduled to take place in 2025. A parent will be required to pay a percentage of their net resources, with this percentage being based on the number of children being supported. The applicable percentages range from 20 percent of net resources for one child up to 40 percent of net resources for five or more children. In some situations, the court may adjust these percentages based on any extraordinary needs of the children in question along with other factors such as custodial arrangements, travel costs associated with visitation rights, child care expenses, and other resources that may be available to the parents and children.

Enforcement of Child Support Orders

If a parent falls behind on court-ordered child support payments, the other parent may seek enforcement of these obligations in court. A parent will be required to pay all child support owed in full, and interest will apply until any past-due amounts have been fully paid off. If necessary, either party may request a modification of child support based on significant changes in the circumstances of either parent or the children. This can ensure that a parent who has experienced financial difficulties will be able to temporarily or permanently reduce their obligations. However, all child support payments owed before any modifications are put in place by the court must still be paid.

Contact a Weatherford Child Support Lawyer

If you need to ensure that issues related to child support are handled correctly, contact J.A. Griffin Law Firm, P.C. at 817-926-6153. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to learn more about how we can assist with family law issues. We provide representation for clients in Decatur, Wise County, Parker County, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and throughout North Central Texas.

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