Divorce is a complicated legal procedure that is sure to affect your life in a variety of important ways. In divorces that involve children, however, issues related to child custody are of primary concern, and child support is a major component of this. Every divorcing parent has questions and concerns about child support, and having answers to frequently asked questions can help. Below are some of the more commonly asked questions we hear from clients about child support.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Texas?
Calculating child support can be complicated, but there are some basics that generally apply, including:
- The primary custodial parent – the parent with whom the children primarily live – typically receives child support from the parent with the visitation schedule. The custodial parent’s financial contributions are attributed to the daily expenses associated with providing a home for the children.
- Child support is based on a set percentage of the payor’s net monthly income, which is calculated by subtracting specific deductions from all of his or her available income.
- If the payor is purposefully earning less than he or she is capable of or is unemployed but has valuable assets, the courts have mechanisms in place for dealing with such issues.
Is My Ex Required to Continue Paying the Same Amount of Child Support if My Financial Circumstances Have Improved?
If you are the primary custodial parent, the child support your ex pays you is based primarily on his or her income. These payments represent that parent’s contribution to your shared children’s ongoing well-being and growth and development. In other words, the fact that you do not require as much financial assistance does not alter the fact that your ex shares the financial responsibility for your children, and his or her child support payments will likely remain the same.
Can My Ex Require Me to Account for How I Spend Child Support Payments?
No, you are not required to account for how you spend your ex’s child support payments. You are entitled by law to receive child support, and you are entitled to spend it in the way that you see fit. Running a household is expensive, and it's likely that nearly every bill that you pay and outgoing expense benefits your children. As such, the courts see no reason for you to defend your budget.
Can My Ex – Who Works on Commission – Pay Child Support According to a Set Percentage of His or Her Monthly Income?
No, Child Support is a sum certain that is paid every month – generally on the first of the month. The court’s base all child-related determinations on the best interests of the children, and that includes receiving consistent financial support. Your ex will need to budget accordingly.