35+ Years of Experience on Your Side
Any family law case can quickly turn into a serious, emotionally charged situation when a child is involved. In every family law court, judges will always rule in favor of what is best for the child, so it is important that you work with an attorney who will actively fight for your case and help you obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.
At Adams Law Firm, we stand ready to provide our clients with outstanding representation and assist them in achieving the child support or custody arrangement that favors their situation. You have enough to worry about when going through a divorce, so it is important that you retain the legal counsel of a trusted Katy child support and custody law attorney as soon as possible.
Child support is regulated by the Child Support Division in the Office of the Attorney General. There are a few different types of scenarios that individuals usually find themselves in regarding child support, but the most common are:
- Obtaining child support
- Enforcing child support orders
- Making modifications to divorce decrees regarding child support
If you are a custodial parent looking to obtain child support from a non-custodial parent or enforce child support, our team can help provide you with an aggressive defense for your case. We will prove to the court that you are owed payments and could help hold the non-custodial parent responsible for their late payments. If you are the non-custodial parent, we can help you file motions to contest or modify child support orders.
Child custody cases are often called custody “battles” because individuals involved usually feel as if they are going to war in order to “win” custody. Most parents feel entitled to their child’s custody. It is often up to the court to decide what is ultimately best for the children. Judges will generally take into consideration the relationship the child has with each parent, as well as both parents’ income, proximity to schools and medical care facilities, as well as past criminal records and history of violence. Our team will aggressively defend your rights and fight to help you obtain the best possible solution for you and your child.
Child Custody Decisions
The state of Texas refers to child custody using new terminology. Custody is divided into two different types of conservatorships, managing conservator and possessory conservator.
- A managing conservatorship is much like primary custody. The parent designated as managing conservator has the authority to make vital decisions about the raising of the child, such as medical decisions, educational needs, a child’s primary residence, travel accommodations, and other crucial decisions.
- A possessory conservator has “possession” rights to the child, also known as visitation. They may also have access to information about the child’s health and well-being.
The main goal of Texas courts is to allow a child to have healthy and fruitful relationships with both parents. If the conditions are right for this type of arrangement, then the court may approve of both parents becoming joint managing conservators. This doesn’t necessarily mean that both parents have exactly equal time with the child, but they do share the authority to make important decisions involving the child’s welfare.
In other situations, it may be more appropriate for the court to assign one parent as the sole managing conservator. This parent has the sole right to determine where and how the child will be raised. This may be an option when the other parent has engaged in acts of domestic abuse or violence, they abuse drugs or alcohol, or they have been found to be unable to provide care for the child.
Determining custody can be a difficult and drawn-out process. Texas courts will always keep the child’s best interests in mind. That’s why you need an experienced and compassionate child custody attorney to help you build a solid case demonstrating how you best fulfill your child’s needs. At Adams Law Firm, we can review your situation and build a compelling case that will help you achieve the best outcome possible for your circumstances.
What is Child Support?
Technically, child support is financial assistance that one parent pays to the other parent for the purposes of providing for their shared child or children following a divorce. This money is meant to help maintain a child’s standard of living and ensure that their basic needs are being provided for. These needs may include things like housing, food, clothing, education, medical care, and extracurricular or enriching activities.
The laws governing child support vary by state. In Texas, the physical custody of the child determines who will ultimately make child support payments. Physical custody refers to where the child will live on a regular basis. The non-custodial parent, or the one who spends the least amount of time with the child, is typically the parent responsible for making child support payments. In Texas, physical custody is more commonly called managing conservatorship due to the sometimes negative connotations that come with the term “custody.”
How is Child Support Determined in Texas?
Numerous factors can go into determining how child support is allocated to the managing conservator parent. In many cases, the incomes from both parents will be taken into consideration, as well as who is providing medical care or insurance, and potentially a parent’s ability to generate income. The number of children that must be supported will also come into play.
Generally, the non-custodial parent’s net monthly income is calculated. This includes all money that comes from wages, tips, commissions, overtime, bonuses, severance, retirement, or unemployment benefits. Income may also include sources of money such as prize winnings, money generated from property holdings such as rent, or from side projects or businesses. A court can assign income value to other assets held by a non-custodial parent as well, depending on the circumstances.
Once the gross income is tabulated, the courts will then establish the individual’s net income. This is their total income minus federal income taxes, social security taxes, health insurance premiums, or union dues. This number is what will be used to determine how much child support the parent will owe. The net income is multiplied by a percentage that correlates to the number of children that must be provided for. For instance, if the individual is providing for one child, they must typically pay 20% in child support. The percentage scales up depending on the number of children to be supported.
It is important to also keep in mind that in Texas if an individual’s net monthly income is higher than $7,500 per month, the court may decide to increase the amount of child support that individual is responsible for contributing. Parents must also understand that these guidelines do not apply in all circumstances.
If an amount is deemed unfair or does not serve the child’s best interests, the court can amend the amount of child support owed. Individuals also have the ability to challenge the amount of child support, but they must be able to present compelling evidence to support their claim that the amount of support needs to be either increased or decreased and will need to specifically show that the change is for the benefit of the child.
For the best assessment of a child support amount, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney with Adams Law Firm. At Adams Law Firm, we can review your situation and give you an accurate sense of what the courts may assign as reasonable child support for your circumstances. For a rough estimate, individuals may also use the child support calculator provided by the state of Texas.
You Deserve Representation!
When a case involves a child, it is vital that you retain the legal counsel of a trusted attorney. Our firm will work actively to ensure that your family receives a favorable outcome to your case and will defend your rights and those of your son or daughter. The child support and custody lawyers at Adams Law Firm have years of experience in providing outstanding representation to our clients and assisting them in coming to amicable resolutions for their families.