Child Support Attorney in Houston, Texas
Child support is an essential part of ensuring the continued care and well-being of children whose parents are not together. It's a legal obligation, and navigating the intricacies of Texas law can be daunting. That's where we come in.
At Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC, we understand that dealing with child support issues can be emotionally draining and legally complex. Our child support attorney will guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your child's best interests are always at the forefront. If you are in the Humble, Texas, area, including the surrounding areas of Harris County, Montgomery County, and Liberty County, reach out to us today for guidance.
Understanding Child Support in Texas
In Texas, child support is calculated based on several factors, including the income of both parents and the number of children involved. It's our job to make sure you understand how these calculations are made and what they mean for your family.
Every state has its own method of calculating child support--who pays, and how much is paid. In Texas, either parent can be ordered to pay child support.
Child support is based on a percentage of the paying parent's income, but that's just the starting point. The amount to be paid can be more or less than the percentage amount, depending on numerous factors:
Child's Needs: The court looks at the child's age, health, education, and any special needs they may have. The cost of healthcare, child care, and education-related expenses are also considered.
Number of Children: The number of children that each parent is legally responsible for is also a factor. If a parent is responsible for other children not involved in the case, this may affect the child support payments.
Time each parent spends with the child: The amount of time each parent spends with the child may impact the child support calculation.
Special Circumstances: Any extraordinary expenses or special circumstances can be considered. This includes medical expenses, educational costs, or any other unusual cost related to the child's care.
Health Insurance: The court will consider who pays for the child’s health insurance and how much it costs. As a general rule, the parent ordered to pay child support must also pay for health, dental, and vision insurance.
Travel Expenses for Visitation: If one parent has to travel a significant distance to see the child, this can be factored into the child support calculation.
Every family's situation is unique. Whether you're seeking to establish a new child support order, modify an existing one, or ensure that your child's other parent meets their financial obligations, our firm is here for you. We approach every case with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Sometimes, a parent may intentionally avoid paying child support by underreporting their income or not working. In these cases, the court can impute income based on the parent's potential earning capacity. We're experienced in handling such situations and will help make sure that all relevant information is presented to the court.
Modifying an Existing Arrangement
Life changes, and sometimes those changes necessitate a modification of your existing child support arrangement. Whether you've experienced a significant change in income, a change in custody, or any other relevant circumstances, we're here to help.
Process of Modifying an Existing Agreement
Making changes to an existing child support agreement is a legal process that requires court approval. The process begins by filing a motion to modify the child support order in the court where the original order was established. This motion should detail the reasons for the requested change.
Upon filing, you'll be given a court date. It's important to continue paying the current child support amount until the court makes a decision. During the court hearing, you'll need to present evidence supporting your request for modification. This could include income statements, changes in employment, medical bills, or any other documentation demonstrating a significant change in circumstances.
After reviewing the evidence, the court will determine whether a modification is warranted. Notably, the primary consideration is always the best interests of the child. Should the court agree to the modification, the new order will be put in place. Remember, modifications can't be retroactive, meaning they only apply from the date you filed the motion forward.
Termination of Child Support
Child support obligations typically end when the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. However, there are exceptions, such as if the child has special needs. We'll help you understand when and how child support obligations can be terminated, and help you understand if you meet all legal requirements.
Child Support Attorney in Houston, Texas
At Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC, we're committed to advocating for the rights of parents and children involved in child support cases. With our deep understanding of Texas family law and a compassionate approach, we're confident we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child. Don't face the complexities of child support alone; instead, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.