When minor children are involved, a divorce anywhere, including Texas, can become an existential crisis because the children often do not know what is causing the marital split and may be wondering whom they will live with and where. The resulting sense of insecurity can bring emotional challenges that last for years, especially if child support becomes an issue of contention between the parents.
As in other states, statutory guidelines in Texas govern the payment of support. These guidelines address several issues regarding who pays, how much and how often. The amount of support required is calculated on the basis of what the combined parental income would have been had the parents not split. The court feeds the information into a formula that determines the amount of child support to be paid. A court order is then issued that sets the payment, a schedule for payments and the manner in which payments are to be made.
Either spouse can argue that the court-ordered amount is not right. Typically, the supporting parent will argue that the amount is too high. In contrast, the custodial parent will likely argue the amount is too low. In either case, an attorney can argue in favor of his or her client and perhaps persuade the court to change the amount of child support as long as a judge is convinced that the best interests of the children are still being met.
If a parent does not make timely child-support payments, then he or she may face punishment that could include a $500 fine and six months in jail. Therefore, it is important to follow the advice a skilled child support attorney. An attorney understands the state guidelines and is best-suited to help a court issue a just and fair order.