Applying the Texas Child Support Guidelines
Child support in Texas is usually based on a percentage of the payer’s income by applying state guidelines to that income. Deviation from the guidelines is permitted under limited circumstances, and the child support guidelines apply automatically to the first $8,550 of monthly net resources. “Monthly net resources” is a legally defined term and is not simply the amount on a person’s paycheck.
Increasing Child Support After Three Years
If more than 3 years have elapsed since the last child support order was signed by a Judge, the parent receiving child support may seek an increase. Occasionally, The Office Of The Attorney General Of Texas will review the amount being paid if 3 years has elapsed since the last order.
The parent receiving child support may also seek an increase within 3 years of the last order if the amount being paid is more than 20% or $100 different from the amount required by the Texas Family Code based on the payer’s income.
Deviating From Texas Child Support Guidelines
Texas law allows a Judge to deviate from the child support guidelines, but those circumstances are generally rare. One of the biggest issues that we see at the McNamara Law Office regarding child support is the calculation of the payer’s income. Child support should be based on what a payer is going to make and that, by definition, leads to arguments. People often assert that past overtime will not continue, or recent commissions or bonuses were unusually high and will not continue. This can be a thorny factual issue requiring an experienced family law attorney.
There are no hard and fast rules for calculating the payer’s income. The Texas Family Code is clear about what should be included, but determining what is likely to be earned in the future is ripe for argument.
Intentional underemployment or unemployment can also make calculating child support more difficult. When a parent is intentionally unemployed or underemployed a Judge may set child support based on the payer’s earning ability. Obviously, parents may disagree greatly about what that number should be.
A North Houston Lawyer With Experience On All Sides Of Child Support Issues
At the McNamara Law Office, I have experience representing all sides of this issue. I have represented child support payers and recipients; mothers and fathers. I am happy to discuss your situation at either my primary office in Kingwood, Texas or my secondary location in downtown Houston.