Child support is a form of monthly financial aid paid by a parent without physical custody of a child. These payments are designed to cover the basic living expenses of the child, and the amounts vary depending on the custody arrangement. In general, the less custody time a parent has, the more they will owe. A compassionate family law attorney could fight to ensure the child support obligation ordered by the court is fair.
Whether you will be the parent receiving child support or paying it, it is vital to have the right attorney by your side. Let a Pearland child support lawyer advocate on your behalf during any parental financial obligation dispute.
Child support obligations are determined by the income of the noncustodial parent. There are guidelines set by the state and determine the baseline for a parent’s support obligations. The courts can deviate from these guidelines under certain circumstances.
Determining the amount of child support owed through these guidelines can be fairly straightforward. The process starts by calculating the net income of the noncustodial parent. First, the court will consider the parent’s gross income. This is the total amount of money that a parent brings in each month, including everything from salary to tips and even bonuses. Additionally, gross income takes into account government benefits, prize winnings, and alimony. In cases where a parent is purposefully unemployed in an effort to pay less child support, the court has the power to attribute a minimum level of income to the parent to ensure they pay their fair share.
After calculating gross income, the court will make certain deductions. The court will deduct financial obligations like taxes, health insurance premiums, and union dues from gross income to obtain the parent’s net income. The final step in the process depends on the number of children that require financial support. The state guidelines provide a dollar amount depending on a parent’s net income and then multiply it based on the number of children that require support. An attorney in Pearland could assist with these child support calculations.
Not all parents may agree with the final outcome of the state child support guidelines. While the court presumes that the calculation using the guidelines is the appropriate amount, it is possible to challenge this outcome in court. Ultimately, support decisions are made with the child’s best interest in mind. If a parent can show that a higher amount is in the child’s best interest, the court could increase child support obligations.
Alternatively, there are certain factors the court could use to reduce the amount of child support owed. A judge will consider a range of issues to determine what is fair. For example, the court could take into account a parent’s debt obligations, their need for additional education, and the existence of other assets that are not considered by the state guidelines. A Pearland lawyer could advocate for a deviation from the child support guidelines if it is in the child’s best interests.
Child support is an important issue that could have a significant impact not only on lives of both parents but on the child’s as well. While the state provides guidelines for making these decisions, sometimes it is in a child’s best interests to deviate from these guidelines.
A Pearland child support lawyer could ensure you are treated fairly by the court when these calculations are made. Reach out for a private consultation to learn more about our caring legal team could help you protect the future of your children while safeguarding your financial stability.