So that your Court or mediator may quickly know the factors that may be used to deviate from the Texas Child Support Guidelines, this is a suggested visual aid that can be used. The visual aid will allow the court to have a quick note about the relevant pieces of evidence as applied to each factor that the family code says could be taken into consideration to award more support or less support than is typically ordered.
When attempting to settle your divorce in a friendly manner, you can use these factors in your discussions with your spouse in deciding on the child support amount that is in the best interest of your child(ren).
Can We Skip Child Support If We Share Time With the Kids?
During divorce phone consultations, a caller sometimes asks me whether there can be $0.00 child support ordered so long as the parties have “joint custody.” If my ex and I spend equal amounts of time with the children after the divorce, we do not have to have child support ordered right?
The answer is that yes, it is possible that you can enter an agreement to not have formal child support ordered– However, please note the following:
- Even if you have an agreement not to have child support, a Judge can still order child support;
- There is a presumption in Texas Law that says child support will be paid (regardless of the custody schedule);
- Child support can be ordered of mother or of father, and regardless of who spends the most time with the children.
Keep in mind that child support is viewed as a resource for the child, not for the parent. Quite surprisingly to many, even a parent that is with the child most of the time can be ordered to pay child support so that the other parent can afford to help the children during periods of possession.
We have seen that in Bexar County, Texas, Judges tend to follow agreements as to child support. In Harris County, Judges expect that child support will be ordered in alignment with the guidelines of the Texas Family Code, and will deviate from the guidelines only with good cause shown.
See language that we have successfully used in the past to deviate from the guideline child support amount here.
My Spouse and I Cannot Agree on How Much Child Support Will Be Paid, What Should We Do?
If you and your spouse have come to an agreement on most terms of your divorce, but cannot agree on child support, here’s the deal:
You can both hire lawyers to go fight about child support in court, and in the end the court is highly likely to order child support to be paid by the parent that spends less time than the other parent. The amount that will be ordered is going to be in accordance with the Texas Family Code Guidelines on child support as below:
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
1 child 20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
2 children 25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
3 children 30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
4 children 35% of Obligor’s Net Resources
5 children 40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
6+ children Not less than the amount for 5 children
Instead of fighting this out in court, if you already know that one parent is going to spend the most time with the children as “primary” then take the average net monthly income of the “non-primary” parent, and multiply that amount of pay by 20% (if you have one child). This is how the court will decide on the issue, and if you decide on it from home, you can literally save thousands of dollars.
Having a lawyer help to divorce you in a friendly way, will give you the benefit of having a professional assess your child support situation and offer a soluation as well.
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