Child Support Lawyer


Results-Oriented Approach to Child-Support Issues

Statue holding the scales of justice with overlay text saying "Rights Protection, Zealous Representation, Case J. Darwin, Inc.""After a divorce or separation with children, it often becomes necessary that one party will owe child-support payments to another party for a child’s care and well-being.  Normally, child support is a straightforward process, but sometimes significant complications arise.

Case J. Darwin handles child-support issues in San Marcos, and its surrounding counties.  Case J. Darwin will guide you through initial child support calculations and any applicable child-support enforcement or modification issues.  

Understanding Child Support in Texas

Child support is money that one or both parents must pay to help cover the costs of raising their child. It includes money for expenses like the child’s food, shelter, clothing, and education. In Texas, courts order child support payments when parents are divorcing, when one parent has custody and the other does not, or in situations where parents are not living together. The court makes child support decisions based on what’s best for the child, considering factors like the parents’ income and the child’s specific needs.

Child support payments in Texas typically last until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, several situations can change this timeline. If the child dies, gets married, or legally becomes an adult through a court decision or other legal processes, the obligation to pay child support ends. In cases where the child has a disability, the court can extend support obligations indefinitely, recognizing the need for ongoing financial assistance to cater to the child’s special needs.

Parents can agree on child support terms themselves, but the court must approve these agreements to make sure they’re in the child’s best interest. Once approved, the terms of such agreements become part of a court order, which means they can be enforced like any other court judgment. However, if the court doesn’t think an agreement is good for the child, it can ask for a new agreement or decide on the child support amount itself.

How Child Support Payments Work

Texas courts can order parents to make child support payments in several ways. Examples include regular payments over time, a single lump-sum payment, or setting aside property or benefits specifically for the child’s support. The court can also combine these methods to ensure the child receives support in a way that fits their needs and the parents’ respective financial situations.

When the court orders child support, it often requires automatic withholding of the paying parent’s income to prevent missed payments. If the court doesn’t set up income withholding right away, the order will usually include a plan to start withholding if payments fall behind. The court can also order a parent to pay support for past periods before an order is established, known as retroactive child support.

In determining child support, Texas law is clear that the amount does not depend on the parents’ marital status or the sex of the parent or child. Support payments also do not depend on whether the paying parent is allowed to see or visit the child. The focus remains solely on what is best for the child.

Determining Child Support Based on the Paying Parent’s Income

When Texas courts determine how much child support needs to be paid, they start by looking at the net resources of the parent who must pay. The paying parent’s net resources include almost all types of income like wages, bonuses, self-employment income, rental income, and benefits.

If there’s no clear record of what a parent earns, the court looks at factors like their skills, job history, health, and efforts to find work to estimate earning capacity. If a parent is not working or the court suspects they are making less money on purpose, the court might decide how much child support they should pay based on what they could be earning.

Other Factors That Can Affect Child Support Obligations in Texas

In addition to the paying parent’s income and resources, Texas courts consider a variety of factors to ensure a child support decision is in the best interest of the child. Here are the key factors the courts take into account:

  • The child’s age and specific needs
  • The financial ability of each parent to contribute to the child’s support
  • Any additional financial resources available for the child’s support
  • How much time the child spends with each parent
  • The income and assets of the parent receiving support, especially if they could earn more
  • Childcare costs that are necessary for custodial parents to work
  • Whether either parent supports other children
  • The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance being paid or received
  • Costs related to the child’s education
  • Benefits like cars or housing provided to a parent by their employer or others
  • Other deductions from the parents’ income
  • Health insurance and uninsured medical expenses for the child
  • Special educational or healthcare expenses for the child
  • Travel costs for visiting the child
  • Both parents’ properties, businesses, or investments
  • Debts taken on by either parent
  • Any other factors that affect the child’s well-being

How a Texas Child Support Lawyer Can Help You

An experienced child support lawyer can offer a wide range of services to simplify the legal process and make sure you receive or pay a fair amount of support. Here are some key ways a lawyer can help:

  • Analyzing your financial situation to accurately determine child support obligations
  • Gathering evidence to support your case for the amount of child support needed
  • Negotiating with the other parent’s lawyer to reach a fair child support agreement
  • Representing you in court to argue for your child support interests
  • Filing all necessary legal documents related to your child support case
  • Advising you on Texas child support laws and how they apply to your situation
  • Calculating the expected amount of child support using Texas guidelines
  • Requesting modifications to existing child support orders based on changed circumstances
  • Enforcing child support orders if the other parent fails to pay
  • Challenging incorrect or unfair child support calculations
  • Working to obtain financial information from the other parent
  • Assisting in setting up an income withholding order for child support payments
  • Seeking retroactive child support if applicable

Contact a Child Support Attorney in Texas Now

Need assistance with a child support matter in San Marcos, Texas? The Law Office of Case J. Darwin offers a free consultation to discuss your case. Take the first step toward resolving your child support case by contacting us today.

Contact Us for a Consultation With a Texas Child Support Attorney

Feel free to call us about any child-support issues.  Contact us today online or by telephone at (512) 738-6146 for a free initial consultation.

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