Frequently Asked Questions about Houston Child Support Law

Sample questions often posed to a Houston child support lawyer

Photo of File ArchiveHaving been a Houston child support attorney for many years, I noticed that many clients ask many of the same questions.  To better assist my clients, I included answers to some of these questions below. However, if you need assistance or answers to questions more specific to your case, please feel free to contact me.

  1. When calculating child support payments, what is included in my “net resources”?
  2. How do I make sure that I receive my Court-ordered child support payments?
  3. If the obligor files bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying child support, how do I get my Court-ordered child support payments?
  4. Is it possible to change the amount of child support payments?
  5. When do child support payments stop?

When calculating child support payments, what is included in my “net resources”?

Net resources is all of one’s salary and wage income, as well as compensation that the obligor receives for other things, less social security taxes and federal income tax withholding for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction.

Other compensation that is used includes things like:

  • Interest
  • Royalty income
  • Tips
  • Gifts
  • Dividends
  • Bonuses
  • Net rental income
  • Commissions
  • Self-employment income, etc

How do I make sure that I receive my Court-ordered child support payments?

More often than not, child support payments are automatically withheld from the obligor’s pay check.  A “wage withholding order” is given to the obligor’s employer to assure payment.  The withheld funds are forwarded to the State and the State will send you a check.

There are other ways to receive funds, including reporting the obligor to the credit agencies, receiving payments from lottery winnings, seizing tax refunds, and more.

If the obligor files bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying child support, how do I get my Court-ordered child support payments?

Filing for bankruptcy does not exempt the obligor from paying child support.  The obligor must still make the payments.  Even if the obligor is able to receive debts relief, the obligor is still required to make child support payments.

Is it possible to change the amount of child support payments?

Yes, as circumstances change, it may be necessary to alter the amount of child support given.  This may be done to benefit the child’s needs, such as if the child needs therapy or medical treatment.  Additionally, the obligor’s situation may change, including a job layoff or other reduction in income or a job promotion, which results in greater income.  The increasing income of the custodial parent can also affect the amount.

When do child support payments stop?

Child support payments often stop when the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 or 21 in most states.  However, there are exceptions, such as if the child will be attending college or is disabled.  Generally speaking, in Texas, child support must continue until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school – whichever is later.  Extensions are granted as needed.  If you know that your child will be attending college and you want to continue to receive child support payments for it, you will need to enter into a contract for it; it is not automatically granted by the courts.  Because you often need to stipulate this as early on as possible, you may want to have a Houston child support lawyer assist you in drafting the necessary documents.

To get more information about how Houston child support arrangements apply to your particular situation, please call a Houston child support attorney at our law firm today for a consultation.

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