Child Custody &
Child Support

What to Know About Child Custody and Child Support

Child custody in Texas is determined based on the best interests of the child. When making custody decisions, Texas courts consider numerous factors, including your child’s age, physical and emotional needs, the ability of you or your spouse to provide for those needs, the past involvement of each parent in caring for the child, the child’s preferences if they are of a certain age and maturity, any history of domestic violence or abuse, and the stability of the home environments provided by each parent.

Custody orders can be modified if there is a significant change (a “material and substantial change”) in circumstances that affects the child’s well-being. A parent seeking modification must file a petition with the court and demonstrate that the change is in the child’s best interests.

In Texas, the preferred option is joint custody between the two parents. Joint custody means that you and your co-parent make important decisions together that are in the best interests of the child. Although not all decision-making has to be shared, Texas believes that whenever possible, both parents should be actively involved in their children’s lives.

Joint Child Custody (called “Joint Managing Conservatorship”) includes developing a parenting plan that determines when each parent has custody, including a specific possession schedule for the children for the school year, summers, and holidays.

Understanding Child Support

Child support in Texas is a court-ordered payment by one parent to the other to assist in the financial costs of raising a child. The state has specific guidelines and procedures for calculating and enforcing child support to ensure the well-being of children.

Child support in Texas is typically calculated based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. The percentage varies depending on the number of children requiring support. Other factors, such as health insurance costs, daycare expenses, and any special needs of the child, may also be considered in the calculation.

The Texas Family Code provides guidelines for calculating child support obligations based on the income of the non-custodial parent. The Court has the option to deviate from the guidelines if there are specific reasons to do so, such as the child’s medical needs or educational requirements.

Child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant increase or decrease in the income of one or both parents or a change in the child’s needs. To modify a child support order, a formal request must be filed with the court, and a hearing may be scheduled to determine whether a modification is appropriate.

Contact an Experienced Austin Child Custody & Child Support Attorney Today

Understanding the complexities of child custody and child support in Texas is crucial for parents going through a divorce or separation. It’s advisable for parents to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney to navigate the legal process and ensure the best outcome for your child. Contact Sara E. Saltmarsh, Attorney at Law, today at (512) 476-1588 to schedule a consultation and let us assist you in your child support or custody needs.

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