Child Support

Child support issues always arise in a divorce where there are minor children or a previous child support order that you now want modified. The amount of child support to be paid is governed by the statutory guidelines set out in the Texas Family Code. For instance, if you are obligated to pay child support for one child of the marriage and you have no other minor children, the statutory guideline requires that you pay 20 percent of your net monthly income for child support. The Texas Family Code requires the 20 percent of net monthly income be calculated pursuant to a formula promulgated by the State Attorney General's office commonly referred to as the AG Tax Chart. In calculating what your net monthly income is, the Texas Family Code allows for certain deductions from your gross income besides the deductions for federal income, social security and medicare taxes.

Many factors can be considered by the Court in deviating from the statutory guidelines if it is determined to be in the best interest of the child. Also, if the actual income of the parent who is to pay child support is less than what the parent could earn because of intentional unemployment or underemployment, the Court can order child support be set based on what the parent could potentially earn if the parent was not intentionally unemployed or underemployed.

Under Texas law, the Court only has the authority to order a parent to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later. There are a few exceptions to this general rule that usually do not come into play, however, if a child requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability and will not be capable of self-support, the Court may order child support well beyond the child's 18th birthday.

While it may appear to be a relatively simple task to calculate a parent's child support obligation, given the numerous factors the Court can consider when ordering child support and the nuances and special circumstances that may be present in a case involving child support, the task of determining how much a parent should pay in child support can be more difficult and complex to determine.

At the Law Office of Craig A. Patton, we have the knowledge and experience to address and resolve child support issues. If your case involves child support issues, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Mr. Patton.

West Texas Family Lawyer

At the Law Office of Craig A. Patton, our philosophy is to furnish our clients with the highest standard of legal services available, while keeping financial and emotional expenditures to a minimum. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, please contact us.

The material contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the dissemination of legal advice to anyone by the Law Office of Craig A. Patton. You should always seek the advice of an attorney, who can review and ascertain your legal needs and recommend a proper course of action regarding your situation.