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ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17111
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Daughter getting divorce -- one child and the father is not

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Daughter getting divorce -- one child and the father is not wanting to pay child support. Divorce filed and supposed to be final in about a week. For child support, what is normal, what does it cover, and can it be added to the claim at this point?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas, Waco to be specific.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: She has not -- they had agreed to him paying some things and he is now balking at most things.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not for now anyway -- not sure what to ask.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Child support is typically based upon a percentage of net resources of the non custodial parent, not based upon "what is covered", what can be added, etc... Include the following income to compute annual gross income:

  • One hundred percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
  • Interest, dividends, and royalty income;
  • Self-employment income;
  • Net rental income (rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including non-cash items such as depreciation); and
  • All other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement pay, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, disability and workers’ compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, child support, and alimony.

Do not include:

  • Return of principal or capital on a note not included in net resources;
  • Accounts receivable;
  • Benefits paid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
  • Payments for foster care; or
  • Net resources of a new spouse.

Then he can deduct from this amount any medical care being paid monthly (such as insurance premium) for the child. After that is computed, the percentage (found below) is applied to the income.

The maximum child support payment in Texas is capped at a percentage of $8,550 average net monthly resources. So the maximum amount of child support for one child is $1500 per month and $1875 for two. The cap on the maximum average net monthly resource amount will be adjusted every six years according to inflation beginning in 2007. If the average net monthly resources are $7,500 or less, the amount of child support is calculated as a percentage of the actual average net monthly resources:

One Child 20% of net resources
Two Children 25% of net resources
Three Children 30% of net resources
Four Children 35% of net resources
Five Children 40% of net resources
Six Children Not less than 40% of net resources

So it's not about what it "covers" and "what can be added", but rather how much he makes and the number of children that will be covered. That's going to be the child support payment that is owed.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

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Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I found this information online. I am curious as to what child support covers (housing, clothing, food, child care expenses, and the like). Or, is it supposed to only help cover the first three (housing, food, and clothing) and then additional items such as child care, medical, and other items are in addition to child support?

I don't know what you mean by that. It's supposed to cover any expenses for the care of the child. That's health, education, maintenance, support, etc... Now if it could be proven that the parent is using it for anything other than those things, then the parent could be in trouble with the court. But if it's being used for the child, then that's going to be sufficient.

Now there is case law that says "A parent has the duty to support a child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care,” "and education. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 151.001(a)(3). See also In re Z.B.P., 109 S.W.3d 772, 781 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth""2003, no pet.).” Now courts often do consider child care as well as part of this. Does that answer your question?

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions).

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We have a father that is attempting to not pay child support. So, I am trying to help my daughter with this. I understand that the basic support is 20% of his net, and that this is for the care of the child. I guess I have always thought of that as housing, clothing, and food. I also thought of other items (child care, education, etc.) as additional. If his monthly net is about $3,000, this leads to $600 in child support -- expenses total an amount over this (somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 - $900).

Understood. His legal obligation is to pay the child support amount percentage. If the items are over that, it's on the custodial parent to cover those expenses.

In other words, the court can't increase what he has to pay or charge him additionally if expenses go over. Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What should be the amount of child support? I know that he is not totally responsible (shared responsibility). I know every case is different -- he gained a job making more money than they ever made and now has left the marriage and, in my opinion, his responsibilities. Thanks for your help and information. Not a lot of help except for confirmation of what I was afraid of.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
How do I go about rating you? Great by the way!

If his monthly net is $3,000, then you're right that it's going to be $600 (plus any medical expenses that need to be paid). What does it "need" to be if you're asking my opinion, that's more along the lines of the actual expenses, but the problem there is the logistics of a court or other agency making those determinations. So the legislature imposes the percentage rule out of simplicity.

Can you see on your screen where you need to rate it? Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.Note that you may need to press a "submit" button after clicking on the appropriate star rating. This is what I'm waiting on from you. Thanks!

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