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TX high asset divorceOne issue that often comes up in a high asset divorce is how to properly value the “net resources” of a spouse for purposes of calculating child support payments. Texas law requires a court to take into account a wide range of resources, including such things as retirement benefits or annuities payable to the parent required to provide support. That said, there are some forms of income, such as “return of principal or capital” that are not considered part of the parent's net resources.

Texas Appeals Courts Reach Different Conclusions on Scope of Annuities Definition

With respect to annuities, there is some disagreement among Texas appeals courts as to whether certain types of annuities may be excluded from a net resources calculation. This issue came up in an October 9 decision from the Fourth District Court of Appeals in San Antonio. In that case, the Fourth District declined to follow a 2009 holding from the 10th District Court of Appeals in Waco, which raised a similar issue.

Here is a brief explanation of the San Antonio court's decision. A husband and wife received a divorce. Prior to the marriage, the husband was injured in a work-related accident. This led to a settlement agreement with the husband's employer. The settlement itself was structured as an annuity that will pay the husband $6,970 per month until his death or June 2044, whichever occurs first.

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Posted on in Child Support

Texas child support attorneyWhen some people think about child support expenses, they only consider the costs related to providing food, clothing, and insurance. However, the reality is that child support awards cover not only a child’s basic needs, but also additional expenses. To learn more about what you could be required to pay in child support, please contact one of our experienced child support lawyers for advice.

Calculating Child Support

When deciding how much a parent will be required to pay in child support, courts look at both parties’ incomes, the number of children involved, and all child-related expenses. This includes estimates of the cost of basic necessities, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care. However, there are usually a number of other expenses associated with raising a child. For example, education-related expenses alone can quickly become overwhelming and could include: private school tuition, uniforms, school supplies, tutors, and fees for after school clubs. These types of costs are usually included in a court’s child support calculation, although other expenses related to recreation, are not always covered. Texas law also does not mandate coverage for a variety of other childcare costs, including expenses for:

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Texas child support attorney, Texas family law attorneyWhether the terms of a child support order were determined by a judge or a couple came to an agreement outside of court, each spouse is legally required to comply with the order. Parental responsibilities are taken seriously in Texas, so failing to pay child support can have serious consequences, including wage garnishment and jail time. In fact, a recently implemented program now prohibits parents who are behind on child support payments from renewing their vehicle registration. Whether you are having trouble meeting your child support obligations or are trying to enforce a child support order, it is critical to have the advice of an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Office of the Attorney General

All child support orders must be registered with the state’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which oversees and enforces child support obligations across the state. When a person falls behind on payments, the OAG can withhold a percentage of his or her paycheck until the amount has been paid. The OAG is also permitted to collect past due child support by seizing the parent’s liquid or cash assets, including the contents of a bank account. The OAG can also take the following steps:

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Texas complex custody attorney, Texas child support attorneyGenerally, parents are not required to pay child support once a child turns 18 years old, graduates from high school, gets married, or is legally emancipated. However, there is an exception to this rule when a child is disabled. In these situations, one or both of the child’s parents can be ordered to continue to provide child support payments, even after the child turns 18 years old or completes high school. It can be difficult to determine what constitutes a disability for the purposes of child support, so if you are divorced and your child struggles with a disability, it is critical to retain the services of an experienced child support attorney who can help you ensure that your child will be provided for in the future.

Eligibility for Child Support for an Indefinite Period of Time

In Texas, the court can order parents to provide child support for a child over the age of 18 years old for an indefinite period of time when the child:

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