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TX divorce lawyerIn Texas divorce cases, child support is often one of the most crucial issues that will need to be addressed. This support will ensure that children will have the financial resources to address their daily needs. However, parents may be unsure about exactly what is covered by child support and whether additional support may be ordered to provide for different types of expenses. By working with a family law attorney, parents can make sure issues related to child support are addressed correctly, and they can determine how they can best provide for their children’s needs.

Medical and Dental Support and Variances from Child Support Guidelines

In Texas divorce and family law cases, child support is calculated by multiplying the net resources of the obligor (the parent who will be paying child support) by a certain percentage that is based on the number of children being supported. Child support calculated using these guidelines is meant to cover children’s ongoing needs, including food, shelter, clothing, childcare, transportation, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to the amount of child support calculated using the guidelines provided in Texas law, parents will also be required to provide both medical support and dental support. A parent will be required to obtain health insurance and dental insurance coverage for children or pay the reasonable cost of coverage obtained by the other parent. Reasonable costs of medical insurance cannot exceed 9% of the obligor’s annual financial resources. Reasonable costs of dental insurance cannot exceed 1.5% of the obligor’s annual financial resources.

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TX family lawyerA divorce will involve multiple different types of financial issues, and child support is one of the key areas that will need to be addressed. These payments will ensure that a parent will be able to provide for children’s needs going forward. However, the amount of child support that is set at the time of a divorce may need to be adjusted at a later date if parents or children experience changes in their lives. Parents who are looking to make changes to these financial obligations will need to understand when child support modifications can be made and the process that will be followed when addressing these requests.

Situations Where Child Support Modifications May Be Warranted

There are a few different types of cases where a parent may ask to modify child support. Modifications may be made if:

  • At least three years have passed since the child support order was established, and calculating child support under the state guidelines based on the parties’ current circumstances would result in a difference of at least 20% or $100 from the amount that is currently being paid.
  • One or more of the parties involved in the case (including the parents or the children being supported) have experienced a “material and substantial change in circumstances.”

In most cases, modification requests will be based on a change in circumstances. These changes may include an increase or decrease in the income earned by the parent who pays child support, changes to children’s needs, or updates to children’s living arrangements.

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TX high asset lawyerDivorcing spouses will need to address many different legal and financial concerns when ending their marriage, and in many cases, a divorce case will become more complex when a couple has children. In addition to determining how they will share child custody, parents should also understand their child support obligations. In cases where a couple has a high net worth, parents may need to address additional financial issues when determining the amount of child support that will be paid.

Texas Child Support Guidelines

The state of Texas uses a straightforward “percentage of income” method to calculate a parent’s child support obligations. The parent who has the majority of the time with the children and is granted the right to decide where children will live is known as the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent will typically pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount of child support is calculated by taking a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s “net resources,” as follows:

  • One child: 20% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
  • Two children: 25% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
  • Three children: 30% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
  • Four children: 35% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
  • Five children: 40% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
  • Six or more children: At least the amount that would be paid for five children

A non-custodial parent’s net resources are determined by taking the income they earn and subtracting federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, union dues, and amounts paid toward their children’s health insurance, dental insurance, and other medical expenses. In high net worth divorce cases, a parent’s income may not only include the wages they earn, but also interest and dividends on investments, income earned from rental properties, capital gains, income earned from trusts, annuities, pensions, retirement benefits, and gifts.

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TX divorce lawyerWhen parents in Austin decide to file for divorce and they have minor children together, the divorce process often gets more complicated. These complications tend to be even more amplified in high net worth divorces in Texas where the children attend expensive private schools and participate in high-priced extracurricular activities. For example, in and around Austin, many parents pay for their children to participate in a variety of sports, and kids may participate on travel sports teams that require additional expenses. Other kinds of extracurricular activities and hobbies can also be extremely expensive, from classical music lessons to equestrian sports.

Texas child support laws are streamlined based on a noncustodial parent’s average monthly net income, and they do not take into account the costly extracurricular activities and sports that are common for kids in high asset families, nor does Texas law allow a court to add onto a child support obligation for private school expenses. We will tell you more about how child support laws do work in Texas, and we will say more about how parents ultimately can ensure that their kids can remain in their current school and extracurricular activities despite the divorce.

Texas Courts Calculate Child Support Based on Income and Number of Children

Regardless of the income or assets of either parent in a Texas high net worth divorce case, the court will use the formula for calculating child support set by Texas law. Under the Texas Family Code, the following is the calculation that the court will use to determine the noncustodial parent’s child support obligation:

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TX high asset divorceIf you are planning for a high net worth divorce in Texas and have children from your marriage, you are probably worrying about how they will fare emotionally. Generally speaking, children from higher-income households tend to do better in school and tend to have more educational opportunities. However, according to a recent study, a family’s income level might not be a deciding factor when a child’s parents get divorced. To be sure, parental divorce, often regardless of the parents’ income level, leads kids to have a lower grade point average and to struggle, at least in the short term, in school.

Whether you have questions about high net worth divorce in Austin, TX generally or specific questions about kids in an Austin divorce, a Texas high asset divorce lawyer at our firm can help.

Your Child’s Education May Suffer Temporarily Due to Divorce

According to the recent study, children and adolescents with divorced or separated parents do less well in school than adolescents with non-divorced parents. Indeed, at least in the short term, teens with recently divorced parents had a GPA that was lower by 0.3 points, on average, than kids with non-divorced parents. Yet it is important to remember that these effects usually are limited, and as long as parents commit to their child’s education, a GPA can bounce back.

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