In Texas, child support is always withheld from the paying parent’s salary, sent to the local child support enforcement agency and then turned over to the custodial parent. The state uses a mathematical formula to compute child support awards. First, the net income is determined by subtracting taxes, insurance premiums and union dues from gross income. The amount of support is calculated by multiplying the net income by a percentage determined by the number of children the parent is supporting. The formula is straightforward, but it can be made complicated if parties are self-employed or unemployed, or if children have long-term medical needs. In Texas, the code requires the parent to pay child support until the child turns 18.
The Texas Family Code determines the maximum amount that can be legally withheld from an employee’s earnings for support. The law places no limit on the amount withheld from earnings for dependent health insurance. After this has been deducted, the remaining earnings are considered “disposable earnings,” and an employer may withhold as much as 50 percent of disposable earnings for child support. A paying parent is required to pay child support even if visitation rights are denied.
The dissolution of a marriage is an emotionally-charged event that sometimes makes it difficult for the parties involved to make clear-headed decisions. Clients turn to their attorneys to interpret the law in order to sort out financial responsibilities in a way that considers the best interest of the children.
When making financial decisions in a divorce, attorneys can advise clients about the dissolution of shared accounts, property division, asset valuation, and other practical issues. Family law attorneys can also be helpful in negotiating comprehensive settlement agreements on behalf of their clients.