Child Support For Your Children’s Sake
When parents of minor children are separated or divorced, the court will order that child support be paid in most cases. Determining which parent pays, and how much, is the focus of negotiations, mediation or litigation leading up to a child support order.
Our family law attorneys at Bandoske & Butler, PLLC, provide personalized counsel and representation for clients who face the vitally important process of determining child support responsibilities.
Understand How Child Support Will Be Determined, And Let Your Attorney Help Ensure Fairness
Texas family law courts calculate child support with factors such as the income of each parent and how much time a child will spend with each one. Quantifying parents’ income for this purpose is not always straightforward. Seasonal employment, self-employment and reduced income because of COVID-19 or natural disasters can make it challenging to pin down a parent’s income. Ultimately, a child support order or modification may translate to years of child support obligations for the paying parent.
Questions And Answers About Child Support
Once a support order is in place, it is an enforceable obligation until the age of emancipation. A child support order may be modified but not retroactively, and unpaid child support cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy. It is important to work with a skilled family law attorney. Our legal team customizes answers to our clients’ questions such as the following:
Q: What if a child has special needs or a parent cannot work for health reasons?
A: A court can depart from the standard guidelines based on reasons such as when a child has special needs.
Q. What if a parent doesn’t pay child support as ordered?
A: The court may recover unpaid child support through wage garnishment. If someone is self-employed, the next step may be to file an enforcement petition, enforceable by an order of contempt. A judge may also order the parent who has not paid up yet to pay attorney fees, too.
Q: What penalties may apply to unpaid child support amounts?
A: Six percent interest per year is added to the total back due amount.
Q: What enforcement methods may be used if nonpayment of child support continues?
A: A nonpaying parent may lose their passport, driver’s license, concealed handgun license and/or professional license. A court may also threaten a parent in default with jail.
Q: What if a parent truly can’t pay child support because of a job loss or other reasons out of their control?
A: A parent who is obligated to pay can seek a modification of a child support order but is not authorized to simply stop paying because of financial difficulties. A judge may take special hardships into account, but judges are also aware of the burden that the primary caregiving parent must bear if child support is not paid.
Q: If my ex-spouse is not paying child support as ordered, can I withhold possession (parenting time) from them?
A: No. Child support and child possession and management (custody and visitation) are separate issues. You risk being in contempt of court if you do not comply with a possession and management order.
Verify That You Will Pay Or Receive Appropriate Child Support
Regardless of which side of the child support equation applies to you, it is important to ensure that the amount will be fair and based on accurate information. Our San Antonio family law firm offers clear advice on an original court order, a modification or enforcement. Contact us at 210-953-8415 or send us an email inquiry.