Child Support Lawyers serving Bell, Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant Counties and the cities of Allen, Argyle, Belton, Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Hood, Frisco, Grapevine, Harker Heights, Irving, Keller, Killeen, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Mckinney, Nolanville, Plano, Prosper, Roanoke, Salado, Southlake, and The Colony.
A child custody battle can be a scary thing for all parties, children included. This is even more accurate when parents don’t agree. It can be overwhelming and difficult to predict the outcome of your child custody battle. Even when custody is settled, there’s the matter of child support. The thoughtful and professional attorneys at Ilarraza Law help clients just like you get through the child custody and child support process. Our skilled team is dedicated to your child’s well-being.
During a divorce, your primary concern is for your children’s mental, emotional, and financial well-being. As a parent, it’s your job to care for your children and when parents don’t agree, this can increase anxiety in an already painful situation. Ilarraza Law, P.C. can help protect your child’s financial future as your household and family are divided. We help parents:
- Better understand Texas child support guidelines
- Negotiate child support and custody through mediation
- Litigate child support issues as needed
- Help modify an existing child support order
- Follow up with enforcement of child support orders
In some situations, a trial is a necessary step for you to receive the financial support your child deserves. With our firm, you have strong litigators by your side. We’re prepared to stand up and fight to protect your children’s rights to a financially stable upbringing.
Texas Laws and Child Support Guidelines
The state of Texas has established general child support guidelines. We work hard to achieve the best possible financial solutions within the framework of these guidelines. Our process utilizes the discovery process to compel a full, truthful financial disclosure. This allows the court to calculate the amount of support you should receive for your child or children.
It’s also not uncommon for parents to disagree with issues and expenses that go beyond the scope of basic child support including:
- Private school tuition
- Childcare arrangements
- Sports and enrichment activities
We work hard to achieve results that do your children justice within your own financial reality.
Our offices also strive to provide you with an estimate of what you might be able to expect when it comes to child support payments or child maintenance payments. We can use the state’s child support calculator to give you an idea of what you may end up paying or what you may receive to help cover expenses associated with caring for your child or children.
There are also additional factors the judge may consider when deciding on the child support amount. These include:
- The age of the child
- Any special needs
- The ability of both parents to financially support the child
- How much time each parent spends with the child and has access to the child
- Childcare expenses incurred by either parent for employment purposes
- If either parent also cares for another child
- How much alimony or spousal support is being either paid or received by either parent
It’s important to remember that the court will always decide in the best interest of the child, however, they will also consider the circumstances of the parents.
Achieving Child Support Settlements Through Mediation
The child custody and child support processes are easier on all parties if each parent can agree. Through the structure of mediation, you and your spouse can put your differences aside and focus on what’s best for your child or children. Ilarraza Law can help you work together to resolve child support disputes and create a support plan that equitably divides the financial obligations of raising your children.
Child Support Enforcement
Both parents share the responsibilities of raising and providing for their children. If one parent fails to abide by their legal obligations for their financial child maintenance, then we can petition the court to enforce your child support order and help you collect child support owed. It’s not uncommon for the paying parent to fail to provide financial support for their children out of spite for the other parent. Thankfully, the state has options in place to help encourage paying parents to support their children or face the consequences.
There’s also a solution for cases where a parent fails to seek employment in an effort to earn as little income as possible in hopes of not having to pay support. Child support payments are then calculated based on the parent having the potential to work 40 hours per week at minimum wage.
What If You Can’t Pay Child Support
There are numerous reasons why someone may not be able to pay their child support. However, most of these reasons will not entitle you to reduce your obligations. For example, losing a portion of your income may not be enough to reduce your obligation.
However, if you lose a notable portion of your income, you’ll want to speak with a child support attorney to learn more about the requirements for modifications to child support orders. If you don’t and instead just choose not to pay, consequences can include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Property seizure
- Wage garnishment
- Tax refund seizure
- Jail time
The court is who sets the child support amount as well as the payment schedule. It’s vitally important to let the court know as soon as possible if your circumstances change and you’ll be unable to pay your child support or pay the full amount. Be honest regarding your situation before the problem gets out of control.
Child Support Enforcement: When A Parent Doesn’t Pay
In many cases, when a child support order is established and a parent does not pay, it can be difficult for the other parent to enforce it. As a result, many parents may consider taking things into their own hands by limiting visitation. It’s important that you do not do this. Child support must be enforced through the court system or your local child support office.
An attorney or law firm can help you get the ball rolling with various enforcement actions when it comes to unpaid child support including:
- Filing for garnishment orders
- Filing for contempt of court
- Filing to intercept tax refunds
- Placing holds on passports until the other parent deals with the missing child support
- Filing liens against vehicles and real estate
An attorney is the best way to go when it comes to exploring these options for support enforcement.
Post-Divorce Child Support Modification
Your child support payment will remain the same as the initial court order until the court modifies the child support order. For example, if one parent suffers an injury or job loss, then fairness might dictate at least a temporary shift of the financial burden to the other parent. We can guide you through the proper legal procedures to modify your child support payments to accommodate your changing financial circumstances.
You Don’t Have to Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Remember that you never have to deal with the complexities of child custody or child support alone. An experienced and educated child support attorney is an important asset. Texas’s child support system can be confusing to navigate without the experience of a child support lawyer. You want someone in your corner to provide legal advice and help you navigate the labyrinth of Texas child support laws and guidelines.
Family law is our specialty here at Ilarazza Law. We’ve helped dozens of custodial parents and non-custodial parents work toward a child support court order that is fair in the eyes of the system, the parents, and takes the child’s best interests into consideration.
We are here to help whether it’s with your divorce, alimony or spousal support, a new child support case, or modifying an existing child support order. Our child support lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you through these difficult times.
Call Ilarazza Law at 214-646-3253 to speak with a lawyer for child support assistance, other legal services, or questions regarding your options as a custodial parent or a non-custodial parent.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Child support payments are not tax-deductible in the state of Texas. This is because child support is not considered to be taxable income for the receiving parent.
If you’re unable to visit your child due to possible parental alienation, then it’s important that you find a family law attorney sooner than later. Texas courts strongly frown upon parental alienation. It’s vital that you seek a lawyer who has experience with parental alienation.
Yes. You can receive child support in Texas if you are separated and have not yet filed for divorce or if you were never married to the other parent.
Wage withholding allows you to make child support payments through your regular paycheck. Many people prefer this method as it ensures that the payment is made and the person paying child support doesn’t have to worry about doing any extra steps on their end.
When the Office of the Attorney General receives your employment information in association with your child support case, they send a notice to your employer so your support payments can be automatically paid out of your paycheck. You should be aware that it may take your employer a few pay periods to put this into process so you will need to continue making your regular child support payments until the process goes into effect.
In the state of Texas, child support is calculated as a percentage of monthly net resources. There are also adjustments in place for the number of eligible children that you’re responsible for, both in the current case at hand and otherwise. Your best bet for assessing how much you may owe or receive monthly in child support is to speak with an attorney.
Typically, child support is paid monthly in Texas. However, the court may agree to an alternative payment schedule if it would be in the best interest of the child.
When it comes to actually making the payments, there are a few options. Parents are able to make child support payments by credit or debit card. They can also pay by mail, with cash or a money order, by using payment kiosks, or with wage withholding or bank auto drafts.
In some cases, parents agree to child support amounts and the court approves the terms of the agreement. However, if parents cannot agree then it is likely that child support payments will default to what is designated in the child support guidelines for the state. If this amount does not meet the child’s best interest, then you’ll want to speak with a child support lawyer about your options. It is best to speak with a lawyer prior to going to court the first time whenever possible.
If your child has a disability, then it’s important to note this in your child support case. Typically, child support ends when the child turns 18 years old. However, in the case that the child has a disability then the court may order child support indefinitely to ensure the child continues to receive sufficient financial aid. Speak with an attorney to learn more about your unique situation.
There are serious consequences for parents who do not pay their child support in the state of Texas. A Texas court can issue fines for unpaid child support. They can also order that a parent be jailed for up to six months. In addition, the court may file liens against property or assets, they may suspend the parent’s driver’s license, and much more.
If you’re a parent struggling to make your child support payments then it’s vitally important that you contact the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office as soon as possible.