Child Support Attorney in The Woodlands, TX Protects Your Interests

Skilled representation during and after divorce

Child support in Texas is designed to ensure that children have adequate financial support and that both parents share in the financial responsibilities of raising their children. The amount of basic child support is rarely controversial, unless an obligor parent attempts to hide income. However, courts can require affluent parents to pay more than basic child support, and this is often where the controversy begins. At the Law Office of Jerry Porter, I have more than 25 years of experience, including hotly-contested child support cases. My approach has always been to help my client set reasonable expectations, remove the emotion from the situations, and to concentrate on the best interests of the children. I advance my clients’ interests by engaging in principled negotiations and, when necessary, litigating aggressively to obtain a fair court order.

How Texas courts calculate child support

Like many other states, Texas has child support guidelines written into law, compelling the noncustodial parent to pay the parent who exercises child custody. Courts calculate basic support by ascertaining the noncustodial parent’s net income, then multiplying that amount times a set percentage based on the number of children. The net income amount used to calculate support is currently capped at $7,500 per month. Thus, a noncustodial parent earning $10,000 per month would be required to pay:

  • $7,500 x 20 percent = $1,500 for one child
  • $7,500 x 25 percent = $1,875 for two children
  • $7,500 x 30 percent = $2,250 for three children
  • $7,500 x 35 percent = $2,625 for four children
  • $7,500 x 40 percent = $2,800 for five or more children

A family law court may order additional support, but only if it goes to address “the proven needs of the child.” That can lead to bitter disputes over just what a child “needs.”

Affluent parents and the “proven needs of the child”

Well-to-do parents provide their children with amenities beyond their basic needs. These include:

  • Private school tuition
  • Music lessons
  • Dance classes
  • Sports, including travel teams

During divorce, the question is whether the parents can afford to continue paying for those amenities now that they must support two households. The question for the court is whether these amenities amount to “proven needs.” Many custodial parents make demands based on pre-divorce economics. Some noncustodial parents use the divorce as an opportunity to renege on prior promises. I have been successful in negotiating settlements that allow children to continue to enjoy the standard of living they had prior to the divorce. But, favorable outcomes depend on establishing realistic expectations and hard work in bringing parties together.

Common problems in child support litigation

There are several issues that arise during divorce and afterwards regarding child support. The most contentious include:

  • Hiding income to lower the support calculation
  • Nonpayment of support
  • Interference with custody exchanges and visitation
  • Obligations to pay college tuition
  • Either parent’s loss of income
  • Emergence of special needs for a child

These issues often require litigation, either during the divorce or afterwards in a motion for a support modification. When it is necessary to go to court to protect your rights and the rights of your children, you can rely on my experience and dedication.

Ask a knowledge family law attorney in The Woodlands about marital agreements

In child support disputes, I am committed to pursuing a course of action that maintains parental rights while best serving the needs of the children. In more than 25 years of practice, I have helped couples reach support settlements or obtain fair support orders. If you are in The Woodlands, Montgomery County or the greater Houston area, call 346.333.1835 or contact the Law Office of Jerry Porter online to schedule a consultation.