Divorce is always a difficult process, and is made much more complex when young children are involved. In addition to making child custody determinations during a divorce, family courts must also determine how much financial assistance is required for child support. In the state of Texas, there are guidelines to help family courts determine the proper amount of child support so that the needs of a child or children are sufficiently met. Unfortunately, many people enter into divorce proceedings completely unaware of the proper calculation of child support.
In this blog post, we will discuss the factors normally considered by courts when establishing child support needs, as well as extenuating circumstances that may require a variance from the child support guidelines.
The child support guidelines for child support are in place to help ensure that financial needs for children are met, while also not making the non-custodial parent destitute. In deciding whether to vary from the child support guidelines, Courts may consider the incomes of both parents, outstanding debts of both parents, monthly needs for food and clothing, travel costs, insurance expenses, extraordinary medical or therapy costs for a disabled child, private school education, extracurricular sports or recreational activities, and any other relevant factor. These proven needs can help minimize the impact of a divorce on young children by not forcing them to have diminished care, a transfer to a new school, or forgo participation in sports or other activities.
Finally, guideline child support only requires financial assistance through the age of 18 or until the child's high school graduation. Some parents mutually agree to additional support beyond the child's emancipation, but such agreements are not enforceable as child support. These amicable financial agreements can eliminate future arguments and establish peace between divorced spouses.
Christiansen Law Firm specializes in family law in Texas, and can ensure that your parental rights are protected and enforced. In addition, Christiansen Law Firm has extensive experience in family courts, successfully negotiating child support to ensure adequate financial support. The Family Law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm can also help individuals that need child support orders amended due to financial hardships or changing circumstances. Christiansen Law Firm has offices in Houston and San Antonio to better serve clients, and offers free consultations for potential clients. Contact Christiansen Law Firm today for more information, or to schedule an appointment.