League City Child & Spousal Support
Whether you are married and planning for divorce, or you are separating from a partner with whom you share minor children from the relationship, it is critical to learn more about how support issues are handled under Texas law. More specifically, it may be necessary to find out more about spousal support — also known as spousal maintenance or alimony — and about child support. After a divorce or a breakup, financial support can be essential. For children in particular, child support is critical. In some cases, the parties are able to come to an agreement about financial support matters, while in other cases, the court will need to determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate and how child support will be ordered. That is where our child support lawyers can help!
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our attorneys know how complicated and contentious financial matters can be in divorces and other family law cases. An experienced League City child & spousal support attorney at our firm can discuss your case with you today and provide you with more information about seeking or paying support in Texas. If you have any questions about child support, spousal support, or another family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact our child custody, child support, spousal support law firm to set up a fully confidential, no obligation initial consultation.
Understanding Child Support in League City
How does child support work in League City, Texas? When parents are getting divorced and share minor children from their marriage, or when unmarried parents are no longer in a relationship with one another, a child support & child custody case can arise and the court will need to order child support. Under the Texas Family Code, a Texas court can order either or both of the parents to provide financial support for the child until one of the following occurs:
- Child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens later;
- Child becomes emancipated through marriage or through a court order; or
- Child passes away.
When a child is disabled, then child support can be ordered for an indefinite period. The central purpose of child support is relatively straightforward: Both of a child’s parents have a responsibility to provide financial support for the kids. Most often, child support payments are paid by the parent who does not have primary physical possession of the child to the parent who does have primary physical possession of the child. Though, the specific circumstances always matter.
How Child Support is Paid in League City
Child support can be paid in a number of ways according to the Texas Family Child Custody laws, and the law specifically cites the following as potential manners of payment:
- Periodic payments;
- Lump-sum payments;
- Annuity purchases;
- Setting aside property for the support of the child;
- Providing pension, retirement, or other employee benefits through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO); or
- Combination of two or more of the above options.
While Texas has child support guidelines in place, parents who are able to work together do always have some latitude to negotiate a child support payment arrangement that best fits their needs. If you are not able to figure it out on your own, a child support attorney can help you navigate the legal case.
Calculating League City Child Support
While some states have instituted an “income shares” model for calculating child support in which both parents are always responsible for a portion of the total child support obligation, Texas still uses a “percentage of obligor’s income” model for calculating child support. In other words, the parent who is obligated to pay child support — i.e., the non-custodial parent — will pay a portion of their income toward child support. In some cases, the court can deviate from the guidelines based on the best interest of the child, but generally speaking, these are the guidelines for child support payments:
- 1 child = 20 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 2 children = 25 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 3 children = 30 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 4 children = 35 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 5 children = 40 percent of the obligor’s net resources; and
- 6 or more children = at least 40 percent of the obligor’s net resources.
When the obligor’s net resources are less than $1,000 per month, then the obligor will pay child support according to different low-income child support guidelines, which are as follows:
- 1 child = 15 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 2 children = 20 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 3 children = 25 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 4 children = 30 percent of the obligor’s net resources;
- 5 children = 35 percent of the obligor’s net resources; and
- 6 or more children = at least 35 percent of the obligor’s net resources.
What to Know About Child Support Enforcement in Texas
When an order or binding agreement is in place, child support is not optional. Texas takes parental child support obligations very seriously. Our firm assist parents with the full range of child support enforcement matters, including:
- Collection of back due child support;
- A claim for retroactive child support; and
- Defense against child support enforcement actions.
In Texas, there are a number of different tools available that the recipient parent and the state can use to enforce child support obligations, including a wage garnishment, a bank levy, a property lien, seizure of a federal tax return, a contempt of court finding, and even incarceration.
An Overview of Child Support Modifications in Texas
Once a child support order or arrangement is in place in League City, it will be presumed to be permanent. That being said, a child support order can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Under Texas law (Texas Family Code Sec. 156.001), a child support order may be modified by a court if any of the following three apply:
- Three years have passed and a different amount of child support would be due of the state guidelines were re-applied;
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances that was unanticipated when the child support order was entered and is material to the case; or
- The parents agree that child support should be modified.
To be clear, child support obligations can be modified in either direction: Payments made be reduced or payments made be increased. Most often, child support is modified in Texas because of financial changes, such as a parent’s large pay raise or, alternatively, a job loss. Though, child support could also be modified if the child’s needs have changed—such as developing a disability.
Learning About Spousal Maintenance in League City
Spousal support, which is described as spousal maintenance under Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code, is “an award in a suit for dissolution of marriage of periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse.” In other words, a payment made from one spouse to their former partner during or after a divorce. Texas has unique alimony laws. Here are two key things that make our state’s spousal support laws different than most of the country:
- Texas has unusually strict alimony requirements. It is more difficult—though certainly not impossible—to get spousal support in Texas than most other jurisdictions.
- Texas has a statutory cap on alimony obligations. The most an obligor spouse can be required to pay on a monthly basis is the lesser of $5,000 or 20 percent of income.
What makes a spouse eligible to receive maintenance or support? Spousal support is not awarded as commonly in Texas divorce cases as it is in other states. In order to receive support in a Texas divorce, the court must determine that “the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property, including the spouse’s separate property, on dissolution of marriage to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.” In addition, one of the following must also be true:
- Spouse who would be ordered to pay maintenance was convicted or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years from the date of the divorce filing or during the divorce case; or
- Spouse who is seeking maintenance has an incapacitating physical or mental disability that would prevent them from earning a sufficient income to cover reasonable needs, or was married to the other spouse for at least 10 years and cannot earn a sufficient income to cover reasonable needs, or is the custodian of a disabled child and that caregiving role prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to meet their reasonable needs.
Tax Issues and League City Spousal Maintenance
How are taxes paid on spousal support? Under previous tax rules, the party who paid spousal maintenance could deduct that amount while the party who received the support payment would have to pay taxes on that amount as if it were income. Based on changes to federal tax law, however, the spouse who pays maintenance payments is now responsible for paying taxes on that amount, while the spouse who receives the payments does not have to pay income taxes on that money. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the taxation of spousal support, our League City, TX alimony attorney has the skills and experience to help.
Why Rely On League City Child Support & Spousal Support Attorney Tad Nelson
Family law cases are complicated. You do not have to figure everything out alone. Our founder and lead attorney is a lifelong resident of the Texas Gulf Coast region and an experienced family law advocate. We provide proactive, attentive guidance and support to every client. When you reach out to our League City law office, you will have an opportunity to consult with a top Texas family law attorney who is ready to:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about child support/spousal support;
- Investigate your family law issue, gathering all relevant financial information;
- Represent you in any settlement negotiations with your former partner; and
- Take comprehensive legal action to help you secure the very best outcome.
Every family law case is unique—especially those involving financial matters, such as child support and spousal support. We are committed to providing personalized, solutions-driven legal representation in family law cases. No matter the circumstances that you are dealing with, you can rely on our League City child support & spousal support attorney to put forward the time and resources to handle your case the right way.
Contact a League City Child & Spousal Support Lawyer
Whether you need assistance with a child support or a spousal support case, you should know that one of the experienced League City child & spousal support attorneys at our firm can help. At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we know how complicated and contentious family support issues can be, especially when the parties are in dispute over an amount, or when there is an issue concerning enforcement or collections. Our attorneys regularly represent clients in cases where spousal support and child support are determined, as well as in cases involving modifications and enforcement actions. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates online or call us today at (281) 962-7817 to find out more about family support in Texas and how our firm can help you with your case. We provide family law representation in League City and throughout Galveston County.
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