Child Support and Paternity Attorneys
One of the more important aspects of a divorce case is establishing the obligation of one spouse to pay the other child support. In many cases, the amount of the monthly child support is easy enough to figure out under the Texas Child Support Guidelines. However, the court always has the discretion to raise or lower the amount of the payment if a parent convinces the judge that a different figure makes better sense and better serves the interests of the child.
Paternity and Child Support Issues in Plano, Dallas, Allen, Keller & More
If you need help with the determination of your right to receive or responsibility to pay child support, please contact the child support and paternity team at the law office of Laurence A. DePlaza, P.C. Due to our extensive experience with the resolution of child support problems in both divorce and paternity situations, we can let you know which factors will most likely influence the court in establishing a child support payment. Serving clients across the Dallas & Fort Worth area such as Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Grapevine, Southlake, Colleyville, Plano, Dallas and Keller.
Understanding Texas Child Support Laws
Our understanding of Texas child support laws gives us the ability to analyze the circumstances of our client, the other parent, and the child or children involved to see whether the Texas Child Support Guideline payment will adequately meet the needs of any children. In some cases, our lawyers will need to take a hard look at certain factors to see whether we can make a convincing case for raising or lowering the amount of support. These factors might include any of the following:
- Responsibility of a parent for one or more children from a prior marriage or relationship
- Making sure that gross and net income disclosures are accurate for a parent who is self-employed, seasonally employed, or whose income is subject to predictable fluctuations
- The specific needs of the children to be supported – not only food, clothing and shelter, but also expenses for health and medical care, sports and other activities, counseling services when necessary, tutoring, academic enrichment, or other needs
- Ongoing needs of children with mental or physical disabilities beyond the 18th birthday or high school graduation
- Projected reductions in a parent’s earning power based on medical condition, disability, or economic forces in certain industries
Child Support Determinations
Child support determinations are reached according to the same general rules in divorce and paternity cases: as a starting point, the noncustodial parent pays a percentage of net monthly income up to $7,500 for the support of children who live with the other parent, with the percentage increasing for each additional child. Consideration of other factors, such as those listed above can result in a higher or lower obligation. Unlike divorce, however, in which both child support and child custody issues must be resolved, an unmarried noncustodial father in a paternity or parentage case should file a petition to obtain custody or enforceable visitation rights, even after the obligation to pay child support is determined by the court. He may also file a Petition for Conservatorship, Support, Possession and Access.