FinaChild support is an integral part of making sure your children are taken care of. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the calculation is made correctly and that your child’s needs are met. Our Pflugerville child support lawyers have significant experience helping parents who are either making or receiving these payments and could work to find an arrangement that benefits your family. If you have questions about determining financial support for your child, call our skilled family law attorneys.

Who Pays Child Support?

Under state law, both parents are obligated to support their children financially. This obligation continues even if the parents are not married nor reside together. Typically, when two parents live apart, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the other party with primary custody.

Parents are also obligated to cover their child’s health insurance. A judge can order either parent to enroll their child on an existing policy and order the other party to reimburse them for some of that cost. It is important to note that the determination of support depends on many factors, not just the custodial arrangement. Accordingly, a parent facing a child support action should discuss their case with a seasoned Pflugerville attorney.

Factors Considered When Determining Child Support

To accurately determine these payments, a court generally applies the child support guidelines outlined in Texas Family Code §154.121 et. seq. The amount of support mandated by the guidelines is presumed to be in a child’s best interests.  A judge may deviate from the guidelines if they deem them “unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances.”

To order an amount that differs from the guidelines, a court must consider various factors under Texas Family Code §154.123, including but not limited to:

  • The child’s age and specific financial needs
  • Each parent’s ability to support their child
  • The custody schedule for the parents
  • Daycare costs
  • Whether either parent pays or receives spousal support
  • Either parent’s obligation to support another child

When considering these factors, courts still must prioritize what is in a child’s best interests. Even when parents agree on a child support arrangement, a judge will not approve this agreement unless it meets the child’s needs. A lawyer in Pflugerville could determine what factors a judge may review in a specific child support case.

Recovering Child Support Arrears in Pflugerville

If one parent fails to meet their support obligation, they may accrue back payments, often referred to as child support arrears. In these situations, the parent who typically receives these payments may file to recover the arrears for ten years from the child’s 18th birthday. Under Texas Family Code §154.131, a parent must file a claim within four years of the child’s 18th birthday or risk losing their right to seek back support. A judge could deny a claim filed after the statute of limitations has expired.

If parents are operating under their own agreement for child support rather than under a court order, the deadline for seeking these arrears is much shorter. A seasoned attorney in Pflugerville could help a parent file for back child support.

Modifying Child Support When Circumstances Change

A parent may need to seek child support modification if their ability to make these payments changes. For example, a parent who loses their job, or a child might incur unexpected medical expenses that require the custodial parent to request more child support to cover these costs.

There are limitations to modifications, however. Generally, child support can be modified when at least a 20% change in income occurs, or there is more than a $100 increase or decrease.

Additionally, a court may review an existing support order three years after its issuance or if some other substantial change occurs. A parent needing to adjust child support should consult a knowledgeable Pflugerville lawyer to start the legal process.

Seek Guidance from a Capable Pflugerville Child Support Attorney

Child support can be a contentious topic, but it is essential to resolve these issues as quickly as possible to ensure that your children receive the financial support they need. If you have questions about these arrangements, contact a caring Pflugerville child support lawyer today. Our legal team could help you navigate the state’s guidelines and ensure that these payments are calculated accurately.