Each year millions of parents across the country seek judicial intervention in child support matters. In Texas, child support amount is set based on a formula that takes into account the paying parent’s income and the number of children they are obligated to support. Whether you are seeking child support or you have questions about your current support order, Mr. Youngberg can help to ensure that your children receive the correct amount of financial support according to the laws of Texas.
Calculation of Child Support
Child support calculation is generally based upon the paying party’s net income, after taxes and health insurance for the children have been removed from the gross income. Then the court applies a percentage from the following table to calculate how much the paying party owes for support:
For example, if the paying party has a net income of $4,000.00 a month, and they have two children that are part of the case and one child from a previous relationship that they are obligated to support, that party would pay child support based on the following calculation:
Monthly Net Income x Guideline Percentage = Total monthly support
$4,000 x 22.5% = $900.00
While this child support calculation is used in most cases, there are exceptions in the family code that may allow the court to order higher or lower child support. The Texas Family Code provides for 17 additional factors that the court may use to revise the child support guidelines. Some common examples of exceptions that the court may use to deviate from the support guidelines are:
- The age and needs of the child
- The ability of parents to contribute to the support of the child
- Any financial resources available for the support of the child
- The parties’ possession schedule.
- If the paying party is intentionally unemployed or underemployed
- Child care expenses
- If either party has the managing conservatorship or physical custody of another child
- Alimony or spousal maintenance paid
- Fringe benefits received by the paying party from his employer
- The cost of travel in order to exercise possession of the child
This does not include everything that the court may take into account when determining the correct child support obligation. Mr. Youngberg can help you navigate these laws to ensure that a fair and accurate amount of child support is ordered by the court.
Modifying a Current Child Support Order
If you already have a child support order in place, you may be in need of a modification of the monthly obligation. In general, a court may modify a child support order if it finds the circumstances of either party or the child, including a party’s financial status, has materially and substantially changed and the current support obligation is no longer correct. The courts may also modify the support obligation if it has been more than 3 years since the obligation was last modified and the amount of support ordered varies by more than 20% or $100.00, whichever is less, from the prior order. For instance, if the parent paying support suddenly becomes disabled and is no longer able to work, the court will likely consider reducing the child support obligation to accurately reflect their current income level. Conversely, if either parent experiences a sudden increase in monthly income, the court may decide to adjust the monthly support amount accordingly. If you require a modification to your child support order, Mr. Youngberg will help you determine what the correct amount of support should be, negotiate with the other party, and present your case to the judge.
Enforcing a Child Support Order
Sometimes the party obligated to pay child support stops paying. This may be because of the loss of a job, a life change like a disability, mistake, or in some cases, a willful desire to not support the child. When these circumstances arise, Mr. Youngberg can help you to enforce or defend against the enforcement of your child support order. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Youngberg was an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Attorney General in the Child Support Division. He has handled literally hundreds of child support cases in court and now that he has entered private practice, he has handled the defense of these actions as well. Whether you need to enforce a child support order to ensure that your child is being supported properly, or you need someone to help keep you out of jail, Mr. Youngberg has the experience to help you with your case.
Whether you are the paying party or the one receiving support, Mr. Youngberg can help you determine what is the right amount of support, and help you fight for that amount in court. If you are having difficulty meeting your monthly support obligation, or you believe the other parent should be required to financially support your child more, Mr. Youngberg will work diligently to achieve a modification of support on your behalf. To speak with an attorney about your child support matter, please contact us today.