As many of you know, I worked for the Attorney General’s Office in the Child Support Division for many years. One of the things that never ceases to surprise me is that many litigants and even attorneys approach Child Support as though it is a ‘cut and dry’ matter of simply multiplying the net income by the appropriate fraction and arriving at the correct child support amount.
I believe this is a job half done. Texas Family Code section 154.123 makes clear that there are several other factors to consider. For instance, how close do the parties live to one another? If they don’t live close to one another, who moved away? Does the ‘visiting parent” actually exercise all of their available possession and access? Do they exercise greater than the ‘standard’ possession and access? Does the child have any extraordinary expenses? Does the Obligor have an automobile, travel, cell phone, etc. that are provided by the employer? Just as the division of a marital estate is not 50/50 rather it is to be ‘just and right given the circumstances of the parties’ child support is not net resources (don’t forget to also consider income or resources provided by trusts, mineral interests, employers) multiplied by a particular fraction. Instead that is the point where we then ask the questions outlined in Section 154.123 to see whether or not a variance, either up or down is appropriate to reach a result that is ‘just and right given the circumstances of the parties.
To set up a free initial consultation to discuss your child support concerns, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.