If you are a parent who is going through a divorce, you are facing your own very specific concerns that focus on you and your children’s financial futures. Whether you are a divorcing mother or a divorcing father, the stress related to moving forward post-divorce can be immense. As such there are several primary concerns that divorcing parents often have.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is calculated according to a standard formula, but each state has its own unique approach. The State of Texas is no exception:
The parent paying child support pays at a rate of 20 percent of his or her net resources (income after taxes) for one child, pays 25 percent for 2 children, pays 30 percent for 3 children, and so on. Ultimately, this calculation has a financial cap.
Deductions paid by the parent who pays child support are also factored into the calculation, and these deductions can include things like premiums paid for the children’s health insurance and child support payments made for other children.
Texas has a Child Support Calculator that can help you get a better idea about what you can expect to pay or to be paid in terms of child support.
Will I Get Full Custody of the Children?
The State of Texas does not include language pertaining to full custody. Instead, there is primary conservatorship, and the parent with primary conservatorship is the parent with whom the children primarily reside and who has majority access to the children. Typically, primary conservatorship is awarded to the parent who is the primary parental figure and whose background supports his or her prioritization of the children’s well-being – or if the other parent is either absent or otherwise deemed unfit to be the primary conservator of the children – because of a drug and/or alcohol problem, a criminal history, a history of violence or of dangerous behavior.
Will I Receive (or Pay) Spousal Support/Maintenance?
Whether you will pay or receive spousal support (temporary payments made during the pendency of the divorce) and/or spousal maintenance (payments continuing beyond the divorce) depends upon a variety of factors. To receive spousal support, you will need to demonstrate that the financial help is necessary to cover your daily essentials, including your housing, car, insurance, and food and clothing. Spousal maintenance, on the other hand, is generally only awarded if you have been married at least 10 years and can demonstrate a sizable disparity in income and/or earning potential. Spousal maintenance usually lasts only about three years, but this timeframe is sometimes extended for longer marriages.