Experienced Midland, Texas, Child Support Lawyer
Fight for fairness by retaining a veteran Midland, Texas, child support lawyer in your divorce case. If you find yourself in a child support battle, you need an experienced and aggressive family law attorney like Laura A. Carpenter to protect your interests, as well as those of your minor child or children.
At The Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter, our attorneys and paralegals possess decades of experience in dealing with child support issues. Call one of our Midland legal professionals today to help you reach a satisfactory and equitable financial arrangement to support your children following your divorce. We frequently work with parents on both sides of this issue, and we will advocate for your case to keep your family financially healthy.
Overview of Texas Child Support Laws
How do the child support laws in Texas affect your financial health and the future of your children? Texas judges wield considerable power in family law cases, which means that you need to seek legal advice from an experienced child support attorney. Below, we provide some crucial child support guidelines for your information. For legal help in Midland, please contact our law firm at The Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter.
How to Calculate the Amount of Child Support in Texas
Generally speaking, child support goes to the parent or guardian who maintains possession or primary custody of the minor most of the time (the custodial parent), even in situations of Joint Managing Conservatorship. A Texas court will determine child support payments based on the income of the payor, the parent who is not the custodial parent. To arrive at a monthly figure, Texas judges usually take the following steps regarding income:
- Determine the payor’s gross income
- Deduct taxes, tuition, and healthcare and child care costs
- Determine the payor’s net income
- Calculate the monthly child support payments as a percentage of net income
As a general rule, a judge will award 20% for one child and tack on 5% for each additional child, so for two children, it would come to 25%.
However, when drafting the child support order, the judge may deviate from that formula. That’s why parents need qualified Midland child support lawyers to make sure that the payor parent meets their child support obligations.
Considerations That Affect Child Support Payments
Before issuing a child support order, family law courts will consider family expenses and contributions that may increase or decrease the child support amount. For example, if the payor already pays for a child’s health insurance, tuition, or daycare, the judge may deduct those amounts from the net income.
Alternatively, if the parent receiving child support pays for the health insurance of the children, this may augment the child support amount. Likewise, if children accrue medical expenses that insurance does not cover, the payor may need to share the burden. To understand what you may need to pay or receive under a child support order, it is important to retain an experienced Midland child support attorney.
Retroactive and Unpaid Child Support
Child support cases can sometimes drag on for months. If the parent without primary custody or possession does not offer support for the children after a divorce, the court may award retroactive support to provide financial relief to the custodial parent.
Should the noncustodial parent refuse to pay retroactive or future child support, a judge may find that person in contempt of court for unpaid support, resulting in fines and potential jail time. With so much on the line regarding your children, you should retain a Midland, Texas, family lawyer to guide you through the process.
Our Child Support Case Management Process
At The Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter, we have established a case management process that clients can easily understand as they seek financial security for their children. As an experienced lawyer, Laura Carpenter will guide you through the entire proceedings, from initial consultation to a court order.
Step 1: Free Initial Consultation
As a courtesy to clients in Midland, TX, we offer a free initial consultation to all clients facing a child support issue. During the consultation, we will discuss best- and worst-case scenarios, as well as reasonable expectations regarding the outcome of your case.
Step 2: Evidence Gathering and Case Building
Our attorneys and paralegals will help you gather evidence and analyze your financials to give you a better understanding of what you should expect. Whether you plan to provide child support or you have primary custody and will receive child support, we can optimize your financial future according to child support guidelines.
Step 3: Court Proceedings
In court, we will present the evidence we collected and clearly explain your financial situation to the judge. Ultimately, the judge will decide the child support amount you will pay or receive according to statutory guidelines. We will fight hard in an attempt to reach the best possible outcome for you and your children.
Step 4: Resolution and Determination of Child Support
After working through the child support guidelines, a court order will stipulate how much child support you should pay or receive. Should circumstances change in the future, you can revisit the issue in court for a modification of child support.
Frequently Asked Questions
At The Law Office of Laura A. Carpenter, we often hear the same questions from child support clients. Discover the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.
How Long Will I Pay or Receive Child Support in Midland?
In addition to spousal support, you may need to pay child support for a predetermined length of time. Generally, a judge will order you to pay child support until your child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later. However, if your child has a health care disability that makes it impossible to live independently, you may need to pay child support for your child’s entire life or until the child develops the necessary skills to live alone.
How Much Do Midland, TX, Child Support Attorneys Cost?
The cost of hiring child support lawyers depends on the length of the case and the types of services we provide. Depending on the age of your children, the cost of retaining an attorney can be partially or wholly recouped due to an increase or decrease in the order monthly support payment amount. Give us a call for a free initial consultation and quote.
Do I Really Need a Law Firm to Represent Me?
According to state guidelines, parents are free to represent themselves in conservatorship cases. However, custodial parents who represent themselves often receive smaller monthly payments due to a lack of legal experience. Likewise, the other parent may end up paying more each month by not retaining an attorney.