Parents who do not have primary custody of their child may be required to provide financial support to the custodial parent. Court-ordered payments are often necessary to ensure that the children of divorced parents are given the support they need. If you are in the process of getting a divorce, it is important that you learn about how to get adequate support or how to ensure that you are not required to pay an unfair amount. Child custody and child support are among the most contentious issues in a divorce proceeding. During this process, it is important to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly.
As a parent, you naturally want the best for your child and you cannot stand seeing him or her go through so much emotional strife during the divorce proceedings. At Peek & Toland , our caring and compassionate Austin child support attorneys understand that divorce can be hard on everyone involved. That’s why we place great emphasis on satisfactory and efficient resolutions. If you have any questions regarding child support or any other family law issues, call (512) 474-4445 today.
How Child Support is Calculated in Austin
Many non-custodial parents in Texas are required to pay child support. How much they pay every month is dependent on the income they make including their salary, overtime pay, commissions, bonuses, dividends, interests, and from other sources. Once their gross income is determined, their Social Security taxes, federal income taxes, union dues, and health insurance premiums will be subtracted. The remaining number is considered their annual net income. Dividing that number by 12 will establish their monthly net income.
Non-custodial parents with one child will typically have to pay 20 percent of their monthly net income. Parents of two children will have to pay 25 percent and those with three children will have to pay 30 percent of their net monthly income to the custodial parent. A failure to pay can result in a number of legal issues and complications.
How Long You Will Have to Pay
In most child support cases, the non-custodial parent will have to pay until the child turns 18. The court can order the parent to continue making payments until the child has graduated from high school, even after the child has turned 18. Some parents are required to provide assistance for college tuition as well. In cases involving a physically or mentally disabled child, the parent may have to continue making payments well after the child becomes an adult. Support typically ends, however, if the child is legally emancipated or married.
Failure to Pay
Legal guidance will be needed if your ex-spouse refuses to pay support or if your ex is accusing you of not paying. Parents who fail to pay support may be subject to:
- Interception of federal income tax refunds
- Wage garnishment
- Passport suspensions
- Contempt of court orders
- Driver’s license suspension
- Revocation of professional and business licenses
- Jail time
If You Are Denied Access
If your spouse is denying your right to visit your child, you may feel encouraged to stop making child support payments. This is a mistake that can prove costly. Texas law requires non-custodial parents to continue making child support payments whether or not there are visitation disputes. Those who stop making payments can be held in contempt. It is advisable to continue making payments and to pursue an enforcement action against the parent. There are legal resources available for moms and dads who believe that their rights have been violated.
Do not take child support laws lightly. If you are confused about any aspect of child support, it is highly advised that you consult with one of the knowledgeable Austin family law attorneys at Peek & Toland as soon as possible.