Divorce hits children very hard. While their parents can at least look forward to a better future ahead, children typically feel a sense of insecurity and loss. They worry about who will look after them and support them. Hence, in the best interest of the child, family law courts, including those in Texas, typically order one parent to have custody of the child and the other parent to pay child support.
Sometimes, a court may determine the amount of child support to be paid without knowing the income of the non-custodial parent. The court has the authority to finalize a child support order, even when the non-custodial parent is not present and the income has not been provided. The child support order will be calculated on the basis of the wage that the non-custodial parent might earn if that person works 40 hours a week.
Sometimes, a non-custodial parent may become the custodial parent. Even then, the parent still has a responsibility to pay child support. That is because, unless a child support order has been modified, the parent is still legally responsible for paying child support. The new custodial parent would need to submit a petition to the court for a child support order modification.
At times, a custodial parent may want to pay less or more child support than what is ordered by the court. In that case, the parent will need to file a petition and demonstrate that the child support order modification is in the child’s best interest. The court may or may not change the child support amount. The judge will consider the child’s health, age and a few other factors that impact the well-being of that child.
The child’s parents may, if they agree, file the new child support order in court. If the court agrees, the new child support order will be enforced as soon as it has been approved.
Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, “Handbook for noncustodial parents,” accessed July 22, 2015.