Child support is often a hotly debated topic during divorce proceedings. The majority of parents required to pay child support in Texas pay a percentage of their net income, which increases depending on the number of children. However, courts can go above and beyond the standard obligation in cases where additional funds are appropriate.
If you are involved in a child support dispute, seek experienced representation from the Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C. I have over 35 years of experience negotiating child support obligations.
Circumstances For Increased Child Support
In most divorces, child support is set according to a formula spelled out in the Texas Family Code. If a parent wants the judge to set the child support figure above the guideline number, there must be evidence that the extra money is directly related to the child’s needs
A “special- needs” child — one who has unusual medical problems or other special needs that require greater-than-usual financial contributions from both parents — is the most common reason why child support is set above the guideline amount of support.
In high-asset cases in which the lifestyle of the child prior to the divorce was more costly than the Texas Family Code guideline will allow, the court can provide for child support above the guidelines. In these cases, the monthly net income of the person paying child support typically exceeds $7,500.
Varying From Support Guidelines
In setting the child support amount, the judge may vary from the guideline figures if it is in the child’s best interests to do so. The factors the judge may consider in making that decision include:
- The age and needs of the child
- The ability of each parent to financially support the child
- The time periods during which each parent has possession of the child
- The earning potential of the paying party
- Child care expenses
- Whether the parent with custody of the child has custody of another child
- The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance being paid or received
- Whether either party receives benefits that reduce that party’s ongoing expenses
- Unusual education or health care expenses, including private school, camps and lessons
- The expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school
- Travel expenses necessary to have time with the child
Of course, you and your child’s other parent can agree to any amount of child support, even if the figure is above or below Texas guidelines. If the child support amount you agree on is placed in writing and signed by a judge, it will become an order, and therefore, enforceable.
Do You Have Additional Questions About Support Guidelines?
If you have questions about how to establish child support above Texas guidelines or modify an existing support order, our attorney can help. Call 281-242-7111 or email me to schedule an appointment at our Sugar Land office.