Texas Guidelines Regarding Increased Visitation Expenses

The amount of child support Houston non-custodial parents must pay depends on several factors. For the most part, the most relevant factors that a Texas child support calculator considers are the income and expenses of the parents and the needs of the child.

Mandatory Child Support

The Texas child support laws have decreed that the amount decided by the statewide uniform guideline must be obeyed by the courts unless there are very extraordinary circumstances that make the amount inappropriate. In addition to this, there are two other kinds of expenses that the court, when petitioned, must allow to be covered by child support. These are the costs of child care due to the custodial parent’s employment situation, as well as the health care expenses not covered by insurance. Visitation expenses, on the other hand, may be regarded as a form of child support only if the court so decides.

When Visitation Expenses Increase

Texas takes a non-custodial parent’s expenditures into consideration when the child support amount is calculated. The court also has discretionary powers to modify the child support amount should specific expenses, such as the costs of visitation, increase due to the actions of the custodial parent.
The most common situation arises when the custodial parent moves far away—as in another part of the country—from the non-custodial parent, and brings along the child with her.

Because of this change in the child’s location, the non-custodial parent will have to spend more money in order to visit his child. The father (who is often the non-custodial parent) has the option of petitioning the court for reimbursement for the additional expense. The court, in turn, may grant the petition by reducing the child support amount by the amount of the additional expense. So if the father is required to pay a thousand dollars each month in child support, and the mother moves with the child so that the father has to spend $300 more, it is possible that the child support amount can be reduced to $700 per month.

How a Lawyer can be Helpful When Visitation Expenses Increase

According to the Family Relations Law website, the increase in the visitation expenses does not automatically affect the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent must pay every month. The TX child support court has the discretion to reduce the amount, but under the Texas child support guidelines this reduction is not mandatory.

A non-custodial parent can, however, make a petition for a reduction and demonstrate its necessity. This is where a lawyer can help. The attorney can evaluate the increase in your visitation expenses to see if they can be convincing enough for the court to grant the reduction. The lawyer can also help the non-custodial parent present his argument in a manner that can convince the court. As long as the claim is not judged to be totally preposterous, the petition at worst can be denied without the non-custodial parent incurring any additional penalties.