San Antonio Child Support Attorneys
Cases disputing who should receive the custody of children are never easy. Every parent wants to provide a stable and healthy environment for their child, but sometimes creating such an environment means dissolving the stability of a marriage between the two parents. This is often the case in many custody cases, where the separation of two parents is a better decision in the long run than the child living in an unhappy household with both parents.
These cases are difficult and emotional for all parties, but the child’s interests should absolutely be prioritized above all else. To do this, the court will likely require the party who is not actively caring for the child to pay support. This will often be used to supplement the other parent’s income to ensure that all the needs of the child, including housing, food, education, and clothing, are met.
Given the potential adverse effects that lack of child support could have on a child, physically and developmentally, it is imperative to ensure each child receives sufficient financial and emotional support from each parent.
Here at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., our experienced team of San Antonio child support attorneys is dedicated to ensuring both parents understand how serious the responsibility of caring for their child is, no matter the role designated by the court and regardless of who has primary physical custody.
Whether you’re concerned that your co-parent is using your child support appropriately or you need legal assistance to receive child support in any amount, we can help. Call us at (210) 349-9933 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our San Antonio child support attorneys.
Our Child Support Practice Areas
We understand that your case is bound to be unique and we tailor our services to fit your needs. Our efficient services allow for any painful moments to come to pass as quickly and smoothly as possible, as we want as little stress to you and your child as possible. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we are highly dedicated to providing a variety of child support-specific services for our clients, including help with:
- Unpaid child support
- Underpaid child support
- Changes in parental income requiring a change in child support
- Misuse of child support by the receiving parent
- Concerns that the child’s needs are not met with current support
Please contact us, even if you are unsure if your highly specific situation is covered in our practice areas, as these are only a few of our services, and we can potentially provide you with the information and expertise you need in this trying time.
Types of Child Custody
If you don’t want to involve the court in your parenting plan, then there are various types of child custody you will need to understand.
Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility of making decisions about the child’s future and wellbeing.
Physical custody determines where the child will live most of the time. Whoever has primary custody will make decisions about their child’s everyday life and schedule. In some situations, joint custody is the best option to ensure both parents can be a part of the child’s life.
Child Support Guidelines
There are multiple factors taken into consideration when the court is determining calculations for child support. They will review both parents’ income, including how many children are in the family, as well as businesses either parent owns, healthcare, and other necessary expenses.
In Texas, the first step is to determine the monthly net resources of the parent that will be paying child support by taking their income and subtracting the following:
- Federal income tax
- State income tax
- Social security taxes
- Union dues (if any are withheld)
- Health insurance expenses
After factoring in all of the above information, the court will then use a percentage based on the number of children and additional factors to determine a final number. The standard percentage guidelines are as follows:
- One child: 20 percent
- Two children: 25 percent
- Three children: 30 percent
- Four children: 35 percent
- Five children: 40 percent
- Six or more children: No less than the percentage for five children
These percentages are based on a noncustodial parent’s monthly net income that doesn’t exceed $7,000. Every six years, the amounts change.
Modifying Post-Judgment Child Custody
If a judgment was already made regarding child custody and one of the parents is seeking a modification, that could occur for various reasons. The two most common are:
- One or both parents’ claim circumstances have changed
- One of the parents violated a court order
Primary and custodial parents are allowed to pursue modifications to child custody arrangements. The burden falls on the parent who files the motion and must present compelling evidence that a modification is necessary. The other parent showing a lack of regard for the child’s safety, health, or other interests is typically a sufficient reason.
The Process for Seeking Child Custody Modifications
In Texas, modifications for child custody can be a time-consuming and complicated process. It’s a requirement that both parents appear in front of a judge if one or both wishes to seek modifications. Whoever is filing must prove the following:
- The child is at least 12 years of age and expressed their preference for the primary caregiver
- There has been a substantial and material change in circumstances
- The proposed changes are for the child’s best interests
If the child is younger than 12 years old and hasn’t expressed a preference toward a specific parent to be their primary caregiver, a modification isn’t allowed unless there’s a substantial and material change in circumstances. Examples include:
- Job relocation
- Change in marital status of the parents
- Medical issues
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Neglect or abuse of the child by either parent
A child support issue is almost always urgent and requires proper care and attention, ensuring that any unmet needs of a child are quickly and effectively remedied. Such issues are often complicated and may feel overwhelming for parents that are looking out for the best interest of their child. We understand your concerns at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. and will fight for the rights of you and your child in a compassionate and prompt manner. To speak with a knowledgeable San Antonio child support lawyer today, please contact us at (210) 349-9933 today.