An Advocate for Your Child’s Financial Needs
If your children do not live with both of their parents, they may need child support to make up for the lost household income; however, you and your co-parent may have very different ideas about how much financial support your children need. That is where having an attorney with ample experience in Texas family law can make a huge difference, both in your financial security and your children’s financial well-being.
The family law attorneys at Soulsby Law in San Antonio have helped hundreds of parents resolve their child support conflicts. We are here to help you secure a fair, sustainable level of support for your children, whether you have custody or not. Our child custody lawyers care about your children’s best interests, as well as your rights as a parent.
How Is Child Support Determined In Texas?
The law intends child support to put your children in the same financial position as they would be if they lived in the same household as both of their parents. Texas family law courts use these child support guidelines to calculate how much the noncustodial parent should pay. Factors considered include:
- The number of children involved
- Each parent’s income and future earning capacity
- The children’s health care costs
- Whether the non-custodial parent is paying child support to a separate co-parent
We represent both custodial and non-custodial parents, so we understand the sensitivities and complex emotions that can come from both sides of the issue. Our attorneys will work to keep emotions calm while negotiating a settlement that is fair for everyone involved, most of all the children. If necessary, we will go to court to avoid an inadequate or impossible level of payment.
When Should Child Support Modifications Be Made?
In Texas, child support is intended to help the custodial parent with the costs of raising a child. However, there are times when child support payments may need to get modified.
When the financial circumstances of either parent changes
There are many reasons why a parent’s financial circumstances may change. They may have lost their job, gotten a promotion or had a change in their living situation. If there is a significant change in a parent’s income, it may be necessary to modify the amount of child support they are paying or receiving.
When the needs of the child change
As a child gets older, their needs will change. They may need more money for extracurricular activities or medical expenses. If the custodial parent is having trouble meeting the needs of the child, there may be a need for modifications to child support.
When there is a change in child custody
If there is a change in custody, it may be necessary to modify child support. If the custodial parent is now paying for childcare or medical expenses that they weren’t previously, they may need to receive more child support. Additionally, if the non-custodial parent now has more time with the child, they may need to pay less child support.
When one parent moves
Usually, child support is calculated based on the income of the parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. If one parent moves, it may be necessary to modify child support because the amount of time the child spends with each parent may change and the cost of living in different areas can vary.
When there are health issues
When there are health-related issues that have always been present or that suddenly occur for either the child or one of the parents, then it can often impact the finances of those who are involved. A modification order can be requested so that the custodial parent can get the financial support that’s needed or so that the non-custodial parent might not have as much of a burden on them if they are dealing with the issue at hand.
How Does A Subsequent Marriage Affect Child Support Obligations?
Child support from both parents is a child’s right. Therefore, when a parent remarries, child support payments should continue to cover the child’s needs. The only way to change the amount is through a support order modification.
A parent remarrying will not, by itself, lead to a modification. However, there are some factors that the court might look at, in relation to the subsequent marriage, that might result in a change. These factors include:
- The custody and visitation order changing
- A parent’s income significantly changing
- A parent having new household expenses
- A parent’s new spouse choosing to adopt the child
It is important to remember that a new spouse can only adopt the children if their other parent surrenders their parental rights. At that point, the other parent is no longer legally responsible for the financial support of the child. This responsibility falls on the adoptive parent, even if they later divorce the biological parent.
What If A Parent Remarries And Wants To Form A New Family?
The parent’s responsibility to financially support their child remains, even if that parent chooses to have more children with their new spouse. Some state courts, however, might consider the expenses related to a new child for a support order modification.
In Your Corner After Child Support Begins
Our work with you does not end once the child support order is complete. Our child support attorneys can help you request a post-decree adjustment to the payment level or enforce the order if your co-parent is not following through on their responsibilities.