Assertive & Fair Child Support Lawyers in Houston, Texas
Do You Need Help with a Child Support Issue in the Houston area?
When you and your partner had children, it was so joyous and exciting. Your children forever changed your life for the better and made it that much more fulfilling and meaningful.
While you absolutely love being a parent, you’re having a tough time in your relationship. The love has faded, or perhaps you and your partner have irreconcilable differences you both aren’t willing to compromise on. At the very worst, you may be experiencing abuse, or your partner could be going through addiction issues and not getting help for them.
If you do decide to part ways or get divorced, then you’re going to need to work out a child support agreement. With the help of an experienced Houston child support lawyer, you can do just that, hopefully walking away amicably from your relationship and ensuring your children feel happy, healthy, and safe throughout the entire challenging and emotional process.
At Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC, our family & child support law firm helps parents resolve the complex issues that come along with divorce, including the matters of child custody and support. We know you may be going through one of the most difficult times in your life, but with us by your side, you can rest easier knowing that you have a team of compassionate legal professionals advocating for your rights.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is a monthly payment that usually a non-custodial parent makes to a custodial parent following the dissolution of their relationship. Since the non-custodial parent is not cohabitating with the children or spending most of their time with them, they need to pay child support to ensure that the primary parent has everything they need to properly take care of their children.
To come up with the amount of child support needed, the judge will look at how much a parent earns, how much time the child is spending with each parent, what kind of support a child needs, and how many children are in the picture. Child support will typically end when the child turns 18, but could be prolonged if the child has a permanent disability and needs extra care, such as placement in a special home or additional medical treatment.
If you’re curious about how much you’d owe in child support, you can use a child support calculator to figure it out.
How Child Support Works In Texas
Child support laws fall under Texas Family Code Section 154.001, et seq. (Support of Child), and the amount is based off a percentage of the monthly net resources that the obligor (the payer) makes, along with the number of children the obligor is supporting with their income. Income includes gross salary, pensions, unemployment money and investment and retirement funds.
In Texas, when a parent gets sole custody, they have what’s called Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC). When both parents get custody, it’s called Joint Managing Conservatorship (JMC). Even if they have a JMC agreement in place, the parent who spends less time with a child – or the one who earns a higher income – will end up paying some sort of child support.
However, the parent with primary custody or the one with the lower income still has to pay for their children’s needs. Child support can supplement their income and help them fund anything else the children require.
Modifying Child Support in Texas
Either parent can seek a modification to the child support agreement. For example, a parent may go back to school and not work as much anymore, so they could request to lower their monthly support payment. Or, perhaps, they aren’t covering healthcare costs anymore, so the primary parent who is now responsible for healthcare for the children may request an increase in child support to cover those costs.
What Happens if Child Support Isn’t Being Paid in Texas?
When the obligor doesn’t pay the obligee, a number of things can happen.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will enforce an order, which could start off with losing your drivers, hunting, fishing and/or professional licenses. You may be denied a new passport, or a lien could be filed on your bank accounts, personal injury claims, insurance settlements or awards, life insurance plans, properties or any other assets you may have.
If you win the lottery, the OAG could intercept your earnings before you ever receive them. It could also report how much child support you owe and how much you’ve already paid to the credit reporting agencies.
If you’re in contempt, you will be fined for your missed payments. And, in the worst-case scenario, you will go to jail for not paying your child support.
If you’re behind on child support payments, it’s always a bad idea to just ignore the notices you’re receiving. Instead, be honest with your ex and the court and seek to modify your agreement if you find yourself struggling to pay it every month.
Choosing a Child Support Attorney
No matter what stage you’re at in your relationship – whether you’re contemplating separating or you’re already in the divorce proceedings – you can hire a child support lawyer to help you along the way. An experienced attorney will know the finer details of child support laws and help you come to an agreement that works for both you and your ex, or soon-to-be ex.
You can also get in touch with our child support attorneys if your ex has failed to make payments. Our attorney will help you file the papers, including an enforcement order, if your ex doesn’t respond to notices from the court. Having an attorney at your side is critical, since Texas courts are jammed up with these kinds of cases and it can take a while.
After all, you work and you’re caring for your children simultaneously. You can’t waste your precious time and energy waiting for a court date or filing papers. An attorney can take the stress out of the situation as much as possible and reassure you that things are getting taken care of in a timely manner. Then, you can focus on your children and yourself in this difficult time.
If you’re looking for a Houston child support lawyer, make sure to reach out to Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC, who can help you reach a resolution and ensure your child support issues get resolved. Don’t wait: Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Work With a Team Who Truly Cares
Avoid the drama.
Prevent the trauma.
Divorce is not an easy process for anyone involved, especially children. Life will never be the same for your children, no matter how hard you try. Even when you do your best to keep things as “normal” as possible, your little ones are almost always the silent victims of your divorce. So, when divorce is inevitable, how do you put your children’s best interests first?