The unfortunate state of the economy has led to national concern about spending. With the continuously increasing costs of almost everything, parents are quickly realizing the high expenses associated with raising children. Consequently, parents who are receiving child support payments are now, more than ever, depending on such income.
Who Pays And How Much?
In Texas, noncustodial parents are generally mandated to pay child support. Of course, the amount each parent is required to pay varies depending on his or her own financial situation. Generally, child support payments are calculated by multiplying the noncustodial parent’s net income by a legally mandated percentage.
The mandated percentage by which the payments are calculated is dependent upon the number of children who the payments are intended to support. Currently, if there is only one child involved, the noncustodial parent’s income will be multiplied by 20 percent; however, if four children are involved, the noncustodial parent’s income will be multiplied by 35 percent. The idea is that these percentages accurately reflect the need for increased funding as a result of a larger family unit.
Additionally, when issuing a decision regarding child support payments, a judge’s determination is typically guided by a strict set of guidelines. Adherence to these judicial guidelines, however, is not definite. Consequently, the presence of an experienced attorney can help ensure that a judge focuses on all relevant factors, even if such are not mentioned in the judicial guidelines.
What If Payments Aren’t Being Made?
The court recognizes a parent’s reliance on child support payments and therefore offers many options to ensure that a custodial parent is receiving the payments to which he or she is entitled.
The process of wage garnishment is the most common method used to ensure child support payments are being made. If the court agrees that the noncustodial parent is not fulfilling the obligation of financially providing for the children, the court can contact the parent’s employer and have the child support payments directly taken from the parent’s paycheck. This court-assisted intervention will leave no choice for the noncustodial parent but to make the mandated payments.
In the event that wage garnishment is not an appropriate method of securing payments, the court can take further steps. For example, the court may suspend the parent’s driver’s license or even revoke his or her passport until the parent is up-to-date with the mandated financial support.
Although revoking a license or passport may not generate immediate financial assistance to the custodial parent, it is certainly helpful in ensuring that the noncustodial parent understands the ramifications of not making the court-mandated payments.
Ensuring A Child’s Financial Security
Individuals in the process of child support negotiations, or who are considering making changes to their current support arrangement, would benefit from the counsel of an experienced family law attorney. An experienced attorney will not only be able to help throughout the complex process of filing for child support, but can also help make sure that a custodial parent receives the necessary funding.