Angleton Child Support Lawyer
Aggressive and Personable Trial Attorney Protecting Your Rights
In Texas, the custodial parent in a divorce is entitled to receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent, based on a formula developed by the state. The calculation includes both parents’ income, but a noncustodial parent has support responsibilities regardless of whether the custodial parent can provide all the necessary financial support for the child. The parents have some latitude with respect to how much gets paid, what is included in the payment, and how long the payments last. To protect your interests, you should work with an experienced child support lawyer like Attorney Mark B. Jones to help you understand your rights and options.
At The Law Office of Mark B. Jones, in Angleton, we have served clients in child support litigation for nearly 30 years. We know from experience that every divorce is different, and that every client has a unique set of circumstances and goals. We will listen carefully to learn your objectives and will adapt our approach to help you get the child support outcome you want as best we can. We can take an aggressive approach, seeking to use the power of the courts to protect and enforce your rights.
Which Parent Pays Support?
In Texas, physical custody determines who will make child support payments. A court could order either or both parents to support a child, though in most cases the noncustodial parent, the parent with the least amount of time with the child, pays child support. The payment amount is based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income, and a court must approve the payment plan.
Note that the law assumes that the custodial parent spends the money from the paying parent directly on the child. That is, in essence, the custodial parent “pays” child support through their own daily cost of raising the child.
Calculating Support Amounts
Calculating the amount of child support is a straightforward process once the parents know the non-custodial parent’s net monthly income. To determine net income, the parents must first know their gross income, which includes all wages, salary, commissions, military pay, tips, overtime, and bonuses. Note that even if unemployed, the paying parent may still have an income in the form of severance, retirement, unemployment benefits, and/or Social Security or workers’ compensation awards. Income can also include gifts (e.g., inheritance), prizes, and alimony, as well as any rental income from a property. Additionally, in situations where a parent is purposefully unemployed or underemployed to avoid making support payments, a court can impute (attribute) income to that parent based on what they should be earning.
Once the figure for gross income is calculated from the above information, parents should then subtract the following (also computed annually):
- Social Security taxes or, if the paying parent doesn’t pay Social Security taxes, any mandatory retirement plan contributions;
- federal income tax (based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one exemption);
- union dues;
- health insurance premiums and other medical expenses for the child(ren) if the court ordered the paying parent to pay these expenses.
Let an Iron-Fisted Child Support Lawyer Help
Our firm will carefully review all the proposed child support orders for compliance with Texas guidelines and ensure that all relevant income is included in the calculation, including income derived from self-employment, seasonal employment, and commissions. We know how to locate all sources of income and make certain that you are only responsible for your fair share of the financial support of your children. We can also assist you with requests to deviate from the state-established formula should your circumstances or your children’s needs require a different agreement.
Whether you have just filed for divorce or need assistance in finalizing or modifying a final child support decree, we will work with you to resolve your negotiation or dispute. The Law Office of Mark B. Jones represents clients throughout Brazoria County and South Texas, including Angleton, West Columbia, Wild Peach Village, Lake Jackson, Clute, Richwood, Danbury, and Bailey’s Prairie, TX. We are dedicated to zealously and compassionately championing your child support case. Attorney Mark B. Jones is a BV-rated attorney certified by the Martindale-Hubbell ratings, so you can trust that our firm has the legal ability and ethical standards in our legal practice.