Child support in Dallas TX is statutory with its rules set out in the Texas Family Code as passed by the State legislature. The Family Code establishes a formula based on percentage of obligor’s net resources and which depends on how many children are before the Court. It also established a presumptive maximum to which the support payment percentage is applied.
Child support is an obligation set by the terms of a Court order. The usual case is that child support is paid until the 18th birthday of the child, or high school graduation, whichever is later.
Currently the presumptive maximum support payment is calculated on net resources of $8,250.00 per month. In order to exceed the presumptive maximum net resources calculation, one has to show that the actual needs of the child exceed the guideline child support. In other words, if the non-custodial parent has net resources of $15,000.00 per month, the actual needs of one child for example, would have to be proven and exceed the presumed figure of $1,650.00 (20% of $8,250.00) in order for the Court to award more than the $1,650.00 per month in financial support. This is extremely difficult to do so in the counties that make up the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex.
Step-parents have no obligation of support for the kids of the other spouse from a previous relationship. In other words, the Texas Family Code actually prohibits the Court from considering step-parent income to set the obligor’s spouse’s child support obligation.
Enforcement of Child Support in Dallas TX
A person owing child support may be put in jail for contempt of court for failure to pay. This is done by filing a Motion to Enforce. A party seeking such relief from the Court may do so up to two years after the child becomes an adult or the support obligation terminates. The old rule only allowed this relief for six months after the child was emancipated.
Child support is considered a unique obligation and it collection is subject to a long statute of limitations. However, the law now requires that a child support collection action must be filed no later than the tenth anniversary of the child’s graduation from high school. Then, if a judgment is granted, it may be collected as any judgment. In addition reporting a child support arrearage that is existing does not violate any Fair Debt Collection Act. Payment of arrearage may be negotiated. You may need to have the amount of back support due determined by a court. This is accomplished with a Motion to Determine Arrearage.
If a person ordered to pay child support in Dallas TX has an arrearage, the US State Department will not issue a passport, depending on the amount owned. The gatekeeper on this matter is the US State Department.
Visitation and Child Support
Refusal of visitation is not a valid reason to fail to pay Court ordered child support. If the custodial parent is refusing visitation and you are not paying ordered support the Court can hold you both in contempt.
The other parent cannot refuse visitation because you are behind on support payments. The duty to pay child support in Dallas TX is not at all related to the other parent’s duty to surrender he children according to the order in place to collect the children for visitation. Make notes on a calendar. Pay your child support because when you take the other parent to court over lost time with the kids, you will have to address the child support as well.
Under Texas law, all child support orders must provide for withholding from the obligor parent’s salary or wages. However, mandatory withholding is not required if good cause is shown or if the parties agree that there shall not be withholding.
A child support offset calculation is a situation where each parent has custody of two children of the marriage about 50% of the time, the Court often looks at what support each parent would pay for children based on that income. The Court then looks at the difference, and the person who makes the higher income pays the difference. If it is a wash, no financial support is ordered.
The Court may modify an order that provides for child support if the circumstances of the child, or the parent paying support, have materially and substantially changed. Texas Family Code 156.401 (a)(1).
The way to address this issue is to file a Motion to Modify the support payment. A parent has a monthly court ordered obligation to pay support that continues to accrue unless the order is changed. In fact, the court has the discretion to retroactively reduce the financial support obligation back to the date of filing or when the parent receiving support is given notice. So, for example, in the case of a job loss, a Motion to Modify child support should be filed as soon as possible.
The Texas Family Code generally requires that child support would change by 20% or $100.00 per month to constitute a material change of circumstance and it has been three years since the last order regarding child support. Texas Family Code section 156.401.
However, if a person ordered to pay child support were to lose a job, that would be a material and substantial change in circumstances that would presumably support a child support change. See the same statute above.
Another such change would be the move of the child’s residence from one conservator to another.
This is also a new action requiring filing fees and new service on the Respondent. Additionally, attorneys’ fees may be sought, along with other more creative remedies, which could be tailored to the circumstances of your case. Finally, since jail is not a potential sanction under this option, the person sued may not remain silent. In other words, the Court can compel answers to questions asked at the hearing.
How long can a child support arrearage be collected?
New Born Children
As set forth above, child support in Texas is calculated on the net resources of the person paying the support (the “obligor”), taking into account the cost of health insurance and how many children the obligor has a duty to support. If support is being paid for two children, and a third child is born into the obligor’s household, the calculation is now 22.50% of the net resources for the support of the first two children. This is a reduction from the 25% that would be paid for the two children in the absence of the third child in the obligor’s household.
Once a Court has determined any arrearage and reduced that finding to a judgment, the court has continuing jurisdiction to enforce its order, “until all current support and medical support and child support arrearages, including interest and any applicable fees and costs, have been paid”. Texas Family Code §157.269.
Health insurance and payment of uninsured expenses are considered to be additional child support in Texas. The parent who pays for uninsured medical expenses (like copays, prescriptions, and deductibles) sends receipts to the other parent. The other parent is then required to reimburse in accordance with the terms of the order, usually ten (10) days.