Child Support Lawyer: What You Need to Know

Child support is a major issue in divorce cases and often involves complex legal issues that require the guidance of an experienced Fort Worth family law lawyer. Simply put, child support is an ongoing payment that the non-custodial parent must make to help the custodial parent cover a child’s basic needs. These include food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses and education. In Texas, the court determines the child support amount based on state-specific guidelines that consider the income of both parents.

However, the court’s decision can be altered if there are legitimate reasons for a variance. For example, if one parent has an unusually high cost of living that makes it difficult to comply with the state’s child support guidelines, the court may grant them a variance for a reasonable period of time.

In general, child support is a mandatory financial obligation that exists regardless of whether the parents were married to each other or lived together as a common-law couple. The only requirement is that the parents share a biological relationship. The amount of child support is determined using a mathematical formula, typically a percentage of each parent’s net income. This calculation includes wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, rental income, self-employment profits, investments and even some retirement benefits.

Most states set obligatory child support standards. But those standards are not always fair or equitable to all families. For example, if a physician or business owner earns more than $9,200 per month in net resources but gets capped at that threshold for child support, it’s not right. It’s also not right when a stay-at-home mom with substantial earning potential ends up with a modest amount of child support that leaves her with nowhere near enough money to pay for extracurricular activities and other expenses.

The truth is, it costs a lot to raise children. A good child support attorney will ensure that the court’s order reflects this reality. A qualified lawyer can also help to modify child support orders in the event that significant changes in circumstances occur.

If a non-custodial parent fails to pay their child support obligations, they can face serious consequences. Failing to pay child support is considered a crime in most states, and there are often severe penalties associated with this type of violation. In addition, the non-custodial parent’s credit can be negatively impacted if they are continually late with payments.

If you have a child support dispute that needs to be resolved, the best thing to do is consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A dedicated family law lawyer can provide guidance, negotiate on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. To get started, contact the Fort Worth child support lawyers at Jim Ross Law today to schedule a consultation. Call us at 214-290-3100 or fill out our online form to get in touch with a local Fort Worth child support lawyer. We serve clients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, including Tarrant County and Denton County.