Austin Child Support Attorney
A divorce is a stressful event for the entire family, especially for children. Most parents want only the best for their children; however, resentment between spouses during a divorce can lead to disagreements about child custody, visitation, and support.
Child support isn’t optional. Once the court establishes how much a parent must pay, that parent is legally obligated to do so. But all too often, parents fall behind on their child support obligations or intentionally stop paying it. That leaves the custodial parent in the uncomfortable situation of having to pursue their ex-spouse for the money owed. And that’s not a task anyone should have to handle on their own.
The family law and child custody attorneys at the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm can help you in the process of seeking child support or resolving child support disputes. We have represented many clients to make sure that they are treated fairly and that their children get the support that they deserve. If you need help with your child support case, call us at 1-855-414-1012.
Determining the Amount of Child Support
The court considers certain guidelines when determining the appropriate amount of child support. Factors that affect child support include the net monthly income of both parents, each parent’s individual financial obligations, and the number of children in need of support. The court will often set higher support payments if children have special needs, particularly specific medical needs.
A parent whose monthly net resources are less than $8,550.00 can expect to pay the following percentage of their resources in child support:
- 20 percent for one child.
- 25 percent for two children.
- 30 percent for three children.
These percentages will be adjusted downward if the obligor pays child support to another child or children from a previous relationship. The court also has discretion to order support that exceeds those percentages, based on the proven needs of the children.
Modifying Child Support
Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to modify a child support order. But the court will not consider modifying a support order unless a “substantial” change has occurred. Among other things, that could mean:
- The non-custodial parent’s income has changed.
- A child’s medical needs or health insurance coverage or costs changes.
- A child’s living arrangements have changed.
Locating a Parent
If the location of the parent who owes child support is unknown, the Office of the Attorney General will help locate that parent to seek and collect payment. The more information the custodial parent can provide, the more helpful it will be to locate the missing parent.
One of the most important factors in obtaining child support can be establishing the parenthood status of the father. This issue often arises with unmarried couples – the mother seeks child support from the father, but the father denies that the child is his. With legal help, the mother can petition the court to order a paternity test.
Failure to Pay Child Support
If the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support, the state will use different methods to obtain payment. This includes:
- Requiring employers to deduct child support payments from the parent’s check.
- Taking payments from federal tax income refund checks.
- Filing liens against the parent’s property.
- Filing lawsuits against the parent.
- Suspending licenses held by the parent.
If the non-custodial parent is experiencing economic hardship, there are legal remedies – such as petitioning the court to modify the support order. So there’s never any justification for simply ceasing payments altogether. And a non-paying parent can be held in contempt of court and be subject to fines and even being jailed for up to six months.
Help for Parents
If you are in need of help for a child support issue, talk to the attorneys at the Evans & Herlihy Law Firm. Our experienced family law team works quickly to resolve issues, because our goal is to minimize stress for families and to ensure that children get the financial support they deserve. We understand the sensitive nature of family law cases, so you can count on us to handle your matter with respect and discretion.
Contact us today – fill out our online form, or call us at 1-855-414-1012, to request a private consultation.