In Texas child support is determined by the parent who has physical custody of the child. In general the non-custodial parent pays child support. Child support is statutorily set out in Texas Family Code Chapter 154. Child support is paid until a child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever is later. There are several other exceptions to this rule but this is the general rule. There is no obligation to pay child support after 18 or high school graduation even if the child attends college. There is an exception to this rule, if the child has a medical condition that renders the child unable to support themselves. If you have a child that has a medical condition, please talk to an experienced attorney. www.cleburnelaw.com
Texas only looks at the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children that parent has to support. The income of the custodial parent is not considered. The support amount is based on the net resources of the parent paying child support. If mom or dad has remarried or gotten married, the court will not consider the amount of money the spouse makes.
Net resources can be tricky. If the non-custodial parent works for themselves or has income from an unusual source you should seek the advice of a lawyer to help determine what income can and cannot be considered. Overtime income, bonuses, periodic payments, etc. can and will be considered even if it is not on an ongoing payment of income and even if it is not guaranteed.
The formula used to determine child support is pretty straight forward. You can estimate your child support at the following website: https://csapps.oag.texas.gov/monthly-child-support-calculator. Again, this will give you a rough estimate of the child support paid. The guidelines under Texas law applies to any amount under $9500.00 per month. This does not mean child support is capped at $9500.00. It means the amount of child support over the $9500.00 amount must take into account different factors. For incomes over $8,550.00 the court looks at the income of both parties and the needs of the child. The example I use most often is Tony Romo (I am not saying he will ever divorce his wife, this is just an example). Mr. Romo makes much more than $9500.00 per month and the court is not likely to limit his child support to the $9500.00 per month amount. What the court would do is look at his income and then determine the amount of child support that is appropriate for his particular situation. Typically, courts will continue to use the formula but they don't have too. You should not be told child support is capped at the $9500.00 amount if you make more than that amount.
Child support and visitation are not tied together. Visitation cannot be denied for not paying child support and visitation can in no way be tied to child support. Visitation and child support are two separate matters. Child support is a legal and moral obligation to support your children. If you made a child with another person you need to financially support your child. Just like you need to visit your child and give your child your love and affection.
Some people will attempt to diminish or even out right hide their income in order to not pay child support or to reduce the amount they have to pay in child support. There are ways to discover what the real income is. You should seek an attorney to help you discover the real amount of income being made.
You should review the amount of child support being paid every three years. Child support that is set in an Order is the child support that will be paid until modified. As people advance in their careers, their income tends to increase and therefore child support should also increase and it will not automatically do so.
If you have child support questions or think yours needs to be modified, please contact our office to discuss your family law needs. www.cleburnelaw.com