How Is Child Support Determined?
Under the Texas Constitution, all parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially. According to family law in Texas, “a parent” refers to the child’s biological mother and a man who either signed a paternity acknowledgment, was married to the mother, or who has been otherwise legally determined to be the child’s biological father. Adoptive parents are also responsible for financially supporting their adopted children. Texas family law requires parents to support a child until he or she turns 18 years old, with some exceptions. Whichever parent does not have primary custody of the child is generally known as the obligor; and it is he or she who is obligated to pay child support. Child support rules are multi-faceted and so a family law attorney in The Woodlands is best able to help you estimate the amount you could be ordered to pay or receive.
The income of the obligor is the most significant factor when calculating child support. In Texas, parents are required to submit to the court information about their gross income. If they are self-employed, they must submit their average monthly self-employment income, which is gross income less business expenses.
Inform your child support lawyers of any deductions that the court should consider when calculating the amount of your payment. This may include health insurance premiums that you pay for your children. You may also be allowed to deduct court-ordered alimony or child support that you are already paying for a previous marriage and other children. When in doubt, let your attorney know what costs or expenses should be deducted, nothing should be left “off the table.”
The amount of the child support payment will be adjusted depending on how many children must be supported. If you are paying child support for two children, the amount of the original payment is not doubled. Instead, the payment is increased by a certain percentage of your income.
Texas family court judges use family code guidelines when calculating the amount of child support to order. However, there are circumstances in which a judge will consider adjusting the support amount. The amount may be increased or decreased depending on the child’s age and needs, educational expenses, extraordinary healthcare expenses, and any other factors that speak to the best interests of the child.
Determining Child Custody in Texas
If you are going through a divorce involving children , you will need to seek counsel from a family law attorney in the Woodlands. Even amicable divorces are extremely difficult for all parties involved, and emotions may still run high. Whether you and your former spouse have agreed to a child custody arrangement or whether you plan to contest his or her child custody request, a divorce lawyer can make sure your best interests—and the best interests of the children—are protected. Continue reading below to learn more about how child custody works in Texas family law.
Texas family law begins with the presumption that the two parents will share custody of their children after a divorce. However, parental duties do not need to be shared equally. Specific child custody rights may be awarded to one parent over another depending on the best interests of the child. However, the presumption that parents have joint legal custody, or share in legal decisions pertaining to minor children, needs to be contested should one parent believe that such is not in the best interests of the children.
Texas courts also strongly encourage mediation to shield children from the courtroom. Mediation allows for a cooperative setting where each side is still represented by a child custody lawyer. A mediator will consider many factors in helping the parties agree on which parent should have primary physical custody, including the history of contact between the parent and child and the respective relationships between each parent and the child. A mediator will also consider the child’s health, safety, and welfare, the parent’s health, and each parent’s financial situation. Finally, a mediator will consider any history of physical or emotional child abuse.
While mediation is often mandatry, if one parent simply refuses to sit down and discuss child custody issues, the case will go to court. Going to court is generally a last resort in Texas family law, but a trial becomes necessary if parents are unable to work together in the best interests of the child. If you go to court, a family lawyer will stand by your side to advocate for your legal rights.
Why You Need an Adoption Attorney
You already know that you’ll need the help of a family attorney in Conroe, TX, if you’re planning a divorce or seeking child custody. But did you know that family law attorneys can also assist families who wish to adopt ? Adoption involves much more than opening your home and heart to a child in need. It’s also a legal process that requires the expertise of a family law attorney. When you consult an attorney about adoption, he or she can inform you of all applicable laws and regulations. Your family attorney can also provide a basic overview of the adoption process and what you can expect from each step.
Family law attorneys may recommend local adoption agencies and help you understand the different types of adoption. You can rely on your attorney to thoroughly prepare you for any court hearings you may attend and to represent your family in court. Sometimes legal complications arise, such as if the birth parents have a change of heart about giving up the child for adoption. If there are any unexpected bumps in the road, then your attorney will be there to help you.
Understanding Child Support
A child support lawyer should help you explore all aspects of family law in The Woodlands that apply to your particular situation. For example, your family law attorney can help you seek child custody and, once you are established as the custodial parent , your family law attorney can further help you petition for child support payments. Child support is based on the idea that both of the child’s biological parents are financially responsible for meeting the child’s needs. Indeed, the obligation to support your children is found in the Texas Constitution. Child support is intended to go toward the cost of the child’s housing, education, medical care, food, and other necessities.
When you watch this video, you will learn more about the basics of child support and family law. This expert explains that child support guidelines vary from state to state. Wisely, he ultimately urges viewers to get in touch with a family attorney for case-specific guidance.
Factors that May Influence Your Child Custody Case
Generally, it is preferable that both parents work together to develop a mutually agreeable plan of conservatorship or custody. This collaborative approach, which minimizes conflict, may be facilitated by a family law attorney . Nevertheless, when parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will establish child custody arrangements. As your divorce lawyer serving The Woodlands can advise you, the judge will make a decision based on what he or she feels is in the child’s best interests. In some cases, one parent may have significant problems such as a history of child neglect or drug abuse. Such issues can prompt a judge to grant custody to the other parent. However, in many cases, there are other subtle factors, such as the stability of the family home, which may also have a large influence on the judge’s decision.
Some family law experts suggest that judges are often influenced by the residency of each parent. This means that child custody may be more likely to be granted to the parent who will continue living in the family home. Similarly, a parent who has obtained custody of the minor children may be more likely to be awarded the family home in connection with a divorce. Attorneys will generally advise clients not to move out of the family home if custody will be at issue. However, if you have moved out of the family home, your family law attorney may advise you to arrange for permanent housing as quickly as possible, to demonstrate stability. Arranging for permanent housing in close proximity to the children’s schools, whenever possible, is ideal.
In family court, allegations made by the parents are often of a “he said, she said” nature. To substantiate your case, your family attorney may offer evidence that you have a history of cooperating with the other parent or that the other parent has a history of non-cooperation, or even a history of using derogatory language about you in front of the child. Oftentimes, a family court judge might award child custody to the parent who is most likely to cooperate with the other parent and who tries to preserve the child’s relationship with the other parent.
All children need stability and continuity for their healthy socio-emotional development. Since a divorce significantly changes a child’s life, the judges try to minimize its effects as much as possible. If one parent has been primarily caring for the children while the divorce case was pending, that parent may be more likely to be awarded custody. If you see a divorce coming, it is wise to establish yourself as the child’s primary caregiver in the months leading up to the filing.
The Basics of Filing for Child Custody
When it’s time to end a relationship with the other parent, determining child custody is a significant concern. Your first step in filing for custody is to contact a child custody lawyer serving Spring, TX. Such family law attorneys will have an in-depth knowledge of child custody proceedings. He or she will ensure that the forms are filled out properly and filed with the appropriate court to prevent unnecessary delays in your case. A child custody attorney will also guide you through the mediation process, which is often mandatory.
To hear more about working with a family law attorney, watch this brief video. This expert explains that family law varies from state to state. He also urges viewers to get in touch with an attorney for personalized legal guidance.
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