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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4816
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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my wifes ex husband pays her 600 per month in child support

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my wifes ex husband pays her 600 per month in child support for their 2 children ages 7 & 13. The support amount was set when they were divorced (6 years ago) and she has never attempted to raise it, mostly due to his threats and his verbal abuse. He now has a job at shell making 90 k per year and still insists that his support is adequate. he told my wife that if she files for more money than he will quit his job to avoid paying to support his kids. he has also made a comment about going for joint custody just to avoid paying more support. I personally have 3 children from my first marriage and pay exactly what the law requires and then some, so Im a little frustrated as to why this guy feels he is above paying what the state of texas allows for custodial parents. my question is, what will it take to raise this guys support to the state standard for two children? and what should he really be paying? currently his support goes thru the OAGS office. thank you in advance, Clint Johnson

texlawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Customer:

Good evening and thank you.

texlawyer :

My advice would be to file for a modification of child support. If he's making substantially more than he did when the support was originally ordered, the payment should be raised.

texlawyer :

Does he pay for their health insurance?

Customer:

My wife is concerned that the court will look poorly upon her for requesting a modification of support.

texlawyer :

No, the court won't. Child support should be viewed as a property right of the children, not the parent. Looking at it that way, she has an obligation to seek a modification, for their sake.

texlawyer :

Keep in mind that child support is calculated by using net income, so his 90k minus taxes is the value used for support calculation.

Customer:

will she need to get an attorney or will the OAG handle this?

texlawyer :

No, the OAG just enforces the court's child support orders. They don't seek modifications.

Customer:

yes he does pay their health insurance thru his job, it was ordered when they divorced

texlawyer :

She can hire a lawyer, or, if she wants to try to do it herself, here are some forms: http://texaslawhelp.org/diy-forms-printable

texlawyer :

Do you know how much the insurance costs him?

Customer:

he pays 300 per month but that covers him as well.

texlawyer :

OK. Even assuming that $300 was only for the children, his payment should roughly double, give or take.

texlawyer :

She really needs to hire an attorney and file for the modification. Even if it costs a couple thousand dollars, she will likely make that back in a few months.

Customer:

thats what I figured as well. he told my wife he would fight it in court. I'm curious if he would have any grounds to fight it?

texlawyer :

The court can require him to give her his tax returns. Once she has those, it is almost impossible to fight.

Customer:

hes only been on with shell for 7 months. prior to that he did cash jobs to hide his income. then he finally went to college for two years so he could get on with shell

texlawyer :

Then she may consider waiting until he files his taxes for 2012. She really needs to show his increase in income.

texlawyer :

Especially if he is willing to lie. The tax returns are difficult to get around.

Customer:

can the court not request an earning statement from his employer?his monthly income is consistent.

texlawyer :

Yes, you can get both.

texlawyer :

If his paycheck is steady, that will suffice.

Customer:

he is a shift worker, the schedule fluctuates but the hours and OT are the same every month

texlawyer :

OK. The court can order him to produce those, so she could proceed now.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your time, you have been extremely helpful. I have one other quick question that is about my personel situation, I hope thats ok. My salary is 52k per year, I pay 370 for health care on my 3 kids and my support payment is 1048.00 per month. is that about what I should be paying ?

texlawyer :

That may be a little high (by maybe $100, or so), but it's close. It just depends on what your net income. I estimated $42,000, but it may be a little higher. I'd say that's about right.

Customer:

also, she claims kids on taxes.

Customer:

I can only claim myself, so i get hit pretty hard with taxes

texlawyer :

You can use this tool to get a close estimate: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/texas/

Customer:

excellent, thank you again sir. Have a pleasant evening.

texlawyer :

You too.

texlawyer :

If I can't do anything else for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck.

texlawyer :

Do you have any questions?

texlawyer :

If not, please remember to "rate" my answer (that's how I get credit for my work).

Customer:

Excellent service..

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