Child support can be one of the most confusing aspects of divorce. While the payments are generally based on state calculation guidelines, many divorced parents do not understand how the state comes to its ultimate child support decisions – let alone why. Having the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions can help.
Which Parent Pays Child Support and Why?
Our lives are complicated, and the global pandemic has made them more so. As such, it is often difficult to divide our children's time equally between both parents, and often, one parent becomes the primary custodial parent with whom the children live primarily, and the other has a visitation or parenting time schedule. In such instances, it is fairly easy to understand why the parent with the visitation schedule pays child support to the primary custodial parent. Even if both parents divide their time with the children exactly evenly, however, the parent who is the higher earner will likely be required to pay child support to the other parent. This is because child support is calculated in accordance with each parent's relative financial ability to pay.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
While it is impossible to tell you exactly how your child support will be calculated, the general calculation formula involves taking the payor’s annual income, dividing it by 12, subtracting all eligible monthly deductions from this amount, and multiplying the total by the following percentages:
20 percent for one child
25 percent for two children
30 percent for three children
35 percent for four children
40 percent for five children
The resulting amount represents a decent child support estimate. Ultimately, the judge has considerable discretion in the matter, and if you have child support concerns, it is wise to consult with an experienced Round Rock divorce lawyer.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Children in the State of Texas are entitled to child support until they reach the age of 18 or graduate from high school (whichever happens later). There are, however, some factors that leave children ineligible for child support, including:
If the child marries
If the child joins the military
If the child is emancipated before turning 18
Once one child ages out of (or is otherwise ineligible for) child support, the payments will be recalculated for the number of children who do qualify.
What if We Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement can be an important tool in the event of a divorce. One thing a prenuptial agreement cannot do, however, is address child custody or child support matters. In fact, if your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement includes such terms, it could potentially void the entire contract.
Turn to an Experienced Round Rock Divorce Lawyer for the Legal Counsel You Need
If you have child support concerns, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Round Rock, Texas, is a formidable divorce lawyer who takes great pride in his ability to help clients like you obtain divorce terms – including child support – that work for them. We are here for you, too, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.