Child Support Enforcement Attorney in Odessa, TX
As a custodial parent, you rely heavily on child support to make ends meet. Texas law allows you to enforce child support when the paying parent falls behind on payments or quits paying altogether.
At the Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter, we offer proper legal services to help you enforce a child support order. For more information about the service we can provide, call us today or visit our offices in Odessa, TX.
Child Support in Texas
After parents separate, one parent has to pay child support to the other. Child support refers to the regular payments one parent makes to help cover a child’s expenses. In Texas, child support covers a child’s basic needs, including shelter, food, clothing, medical and dental care, and education.
Usually, noncustodial parents—i.e., those spending the least amount of time with the affected children—must pay child support. In many cases, parents have an informal agreement regarding the child support amount. However, an informal agreement between parents doesn’t give a court or the Office of the Attorney General the authority to collect payment from noncustodial parents.
Before you can enforce a child support obligation, the child support agreement must be a court order. Ideally, you should make other agreements part of the court order, including visitation and paternity obligations.
If there is no child support agreement between you and the other parent, you need to file a request for child support. In this case, a judge will determine the child support amount and payment dates.
Guidelines for Calculating Child Support
Child support guidelines in the state of Texas place caps on child support amounts noncustodial parents have to pay. The court may increase the amount to care for children with disabilities, provide children with counseling, or other valid reasons. The court takes families’ circumstances into account throughout the process.
In the state of Texas, noncustodial parents have to pay child support according to the following guidelines:
- One child: 20% of the obligor parent’s income
- Two children: 25% of the obligor parent’s income
- Three children: 30% of the obligor parent’s income
- Four children: 35% of the obligor parent’s income
- Five children: 40% of the obligor parent’s income
- Six or more children: At least 40% of the obligor parent’s income
According to Texas state family law, noncustodial parents have a child support obligation until the child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever occurs later.
Odessa Texas Child Support Enforcement
As a custodial parent, you have the responsibility to care for your child. However, you also have certain rights, which include financial support from the noncustodial parent.
Child support enforcement is a remedy you have available when the noncustodial parent fails to make payments. In this case, you can go to court and file a child support enforcement action.
When it comes to child support enforcement, judges have several options. After considering the information before the court, a judge may:
- Order the payment of all outstanding child support
- Find the parent guilty of contempt of court
- Impose a fine or jail sentence
- Order the parent to pay a portion of the outstanding amount
In a civil contempt case, the delinquent parent may have to serve a jail sentence, even if they make the payment in full.
At the Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter in Odessa, TX, our legal services have helped many families file successful child support enforcement claims. As a child support enforcement lawyer, we can pursue legal action on your behalf by serving the other parent with notice of the action. Our services include legal representation and advice.
Child Support Enforcement in Odessa, TX
When it comes to child support enforcement, you need the legal services of an experienced family lawyer. As an Odessa, TX, family law firm, we help parents navigate the legal processes to claim child support so they can provide for their children.
We can answer any legal question you have and provide you with a representation service during legal proceedings. We’ll also review and prepare all documents necessary to state your case as part of our service.
If you have any questions about how child support works in Texas, schedule a consultation at our office. We can also provide you with legal information on other matters affecting families, such as paternity, grandparents’ rights, and adoption.
Do you have difficulty collecting child support payments in Odessa, TX? At the Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter, we will assist you in filing a child enforcement action. Call us today at (432) 580-3333 to schedule an initial consultation.