Providing for the needs of your children is one of the basic responsibilities that come with being a parent. For parents who do not live together or share financial resources, child support payments are required by the court to ensure that financial obligations are being fulfilled.
Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices is a family law firm serving Dallas, Texas, and the surrounding areas, that helps parents make sense of child support guidelines and advocates on their behalf to ensure that child support payments are reasonable, fair and adequately provide for a child’s needs.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
Child support in Texas is determined largely through the use of statutory guidelines, which base calculations on the net resources of the parent who will be paying child support. For parents paying child support to only one co-parent, the guidelines require 20 percent of the parent’s net income to be paid for one child and up to 40 percent of their net income to be paid for five or more children. If the parent paying child support has children with more than one co-parent, the calculations become more complex.
Often, parents are asked to attend child support conferences and are under the impression that they are obligated to reach a settlement for child support on that day. However, parents should not lock themselves into a support obligation without first consulting an experienced family law attorney who can explain their rights under Texas child support laws.
Child Support Modification
Parents are typically required to pay child support until a child has reached age 18 or has graduated from high school — whichever comes last. For children with special needs, the obligation for support may extend well past the age of majority, as long as the child support obligation was put in place before they turned 18.
For many parents, financial and family situations can change drastically over this extended course of time, making previous child support obligations unreasonable. Family law attorney Paula Lock Smyth continues to work with clients as time goes on, helping them petition for modification of child support awards when necessary and fighting to protect their rights every step of the way.