How Do I Get Houston Child Support after Determining Paternity?

Photo of Child Support DocumentFollowing a divorce, Texas law requires that both parents of a child continue to provide support so that the child is not disadvantaged. After the parties take the preliminary step of establishing paternity, the two parents will look to determine the exact amount of child support. Often this is not an easy calculation. Parents will need to figure out how to put a price on the needs of the child and what items, like medical insurance, that the law requires from the paying spouse that may not be included in the child support figure itself. A Houston paternity lawyer at our Texas family law firm can help you understand how courts make child support calculations and, of those costs, what your responsibility is.

Factors in Determining Child Support

Once parties determine paternity, Texas family law courts take a number of factors into consideration when determining the amount of child support. A Houston paternity attorney can help explain the following factors to you:

  • Children over whom the court has jurisdiction and children from another marriage. Child support will be less the greater the number of children that a spouse has from a prior marriage.
  • Needs of the child. A parent will need to provide proof in order to obtain child support greater than the guidelines provide. Proof can involve special needs or advanced education.
  • Retroactive child support determinations. In certain circumstances, Texas family law will require that a parent pay child support for amounts due in the past. The court will take into consideration several factors, including: whether the parent attempted to notify the payor of paternity, whether the father actually knew of his paternity, and whether payment of retroactive child support was financially feasible.
  • Child support ends at age 18 or upon graduation from high school. If the child is emancipated or married, that, too, will end the payor’s child support obligations.
  • Special rules apply for disabled children. Child support for disabled children does not automatically terminate with a child’s 18th birthday. It can last indefinitely, and the parent must have known about the disability before the child turned 18.
  • Texas child support uses wage garnishments. Texas is one of the few states in the country that uses this method to collect child support. This ensures that the payor adheres to child custody court orders.
  • The parent without custody must provide medical coverage. This parent must either provide coverage through an employer or pay the parent with custody for coverage. In addition, medical coverage is not included in the child support calculation. The paying spouse must provide it as an add-on.

If you are involved in a child support disagreement, contact a Houston paternity dispute lawyer at John K. Grubb & Associates, PC to learn more about child support and paternity issues in Texas.

Comments are closed.