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Texas family law attorney, Texas divorce laywer, Texas child support attorney,The child support guideline amounts in Section 154 are presumed to be reasonable. But consider the following situations:

  • The obligor parent is a server at a local restaurant; the obligee parent is an engineer at a large technology company;
  • Father is now financially responsible for three stepchildren after a subsequent remarriage;
  • Mother must travel to another state to see the children because Father relocated with the children;
  • The family includes two preschool children that are in daycare and two school-age children that require after school care; or
  • Because of a child's pre-existing medical condition, insurance is expensive and refuses to cover certain treatments.

The cookie-cutter guidelines might be considered "unjust or inappropriate" under Section 154.123 in any of these situations.

The underlying issue is that Texas is one of only nine percentage-of-income states that determine the amount of support merely from the obligor's income and the number of children before the court. While this formula does encourage predictable and regular results, a straight percentage-of-income calculation leaves no room to account for the unique circumstances of each family. Thus, there is the escape clause in Section 154.123.


Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigaton lawyer, Texas child support lawyer,To determine the amount of child support, the judge mechanically applies the guidelines in Chapter 154 of the Family Code, at least in the vast majority of cases. However, especially if there is a complex child custody dispute, these guidelines are not always reflective of the child's needs. What must a party do to convince a judge to depart from the guidelines, and how is the amount set in these situations?

Unjust or Inappropriate

In the case of Section 154.122, these two words are not synonyms. Instead, they give both the mother and the father a basis to request an increase, or decrease, in child support payments.


college tuition in child custody agreement, Texas high-asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer,With tassels turning on mortarboards throughout Central Texas, this question is a popular one in divorced families throughout the area. While the short answer is "no, unless the child is still in high school or is disabled" there are some nuances in child support law that both parents should be aware of.

The Law

There is some basis for a post-majority support claim to pay for college expenses. Section 154.123(9) allows the judge to consider "the expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school" when setting the amount. Forward-thinking parents can use this provision to increase the amount of regular support for minor children by a few dollars a month, and require the obligee parent to set those funds aside exclusively for post-secondary expenses.


When it comes to child support calculation, Texas is one of only several percentage-of-income states. Non-custodial parents pay a set percentage of their net income on a sliding scale according to the number of children before the court.

Nearly all other jurisdictions use an income share model. It attempts to give the children the same standard of living they would have enjoyed if the parents had remained married, by considering the income of both parents as well as the amount of parenting time of each party. Although this model may be somewhat more equitable – for example, it avoids the unusual result of an unemployed non-custodial parent paying child support to a wealthy custodial parent – the percentage-of-income model is easier to apply and leads to more predictable results.

The Law


Child Support in High-Asset Divorces

Posted on in Child Support

 Austin divorce attorney, child support in high-asset divorces, Williamson high-asset divorce attorney, complex litigation, child custody issues, child support payments, cease paying child supportWhen married parents are going through a high-asset divorce, two issues that need to be decided are child custody and support. Depending on what the parties agree to, and/or what the court decides, the parent who typically has less physical time with the child will be responsible for paying child support.

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents are contributing to the financial care and cost of raising the child. Unfortunately, and all too common, the parent who is ordered to pay the child support does not see it that way, but instead sees it as money he or she is paying to their ex-spouse. For various reasons, the paying parent does not, or will not, accept that it is their duty as a parent to contribute to the child's financial needs.

Often in these situations, the paying parent will skip payments, make partial payments, or cease paying child support payments entirely. Deadbeat parents who do not make child support payments come from all financial backgrounds, including those with high assets.

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