Houston Child Support Lawyer
The Law Office of Maria Lowry represents parents in divorce and child support proceedings in Houston and throughout Harris County and surrounding areas. Whether representing a parent paying or receiving child support, Houston child support lawyer Maria Lowry provides knowledgeable advice and effective representation to achieve an outcome that is fair to her clients and in the best interests of their children.
Texas Child Support Law
Both parents are financially responsible to support their children both during marriage and after a Texas divorce. In fact, the duty to support children financially falls upon each parent even if they were never married at all.
In a divorce or other proceeding to determine child support, the court follows a formula set out under Texas state law to determine the percentage of the noncustodial parent’s net resources that will be allocated to the other parent as child support. The percentage of net income assigned as child support increases depending upon the number of children to be supported, according to the following schedule:
- One child to be supported: 20% of noncustodial parent’s net resources
- Two children to be supported: 25% of noncustodial parent’s net resources
- Three children to be supported: 30% of noncustodial parent’s net resources
- Four children to be supported: 35% of noncustodial parent’s net resources
- Five children to be supported: 40% of noncustodial parent’s net resources
If there are six or more children to be supported, the amount of child support awarded must be at least 40% of the noncustodial parent’s net resources, subject to certain maximum amounts set out in the law.
A parent’s “net resources” include all wage and salary income and all other compensation, including commissions, tips, overtime and bonuses; interest, dividends and royalty income; self-employment income; net rental income; retirement and pension benefits, trust income, capital gains, annuities, social security, disability and unemployment benefits, etc. Virtually any form of financial benefit counts as “net resources,” and only a small handful of items are specifically excluded from the child support formula.
The Law Offices of Maria Lowry helps clients achieve a fair child support determination by ensuring that net resources are calculated completely and accurately. For instance, some individuals attempt to hide assets or underreport income in order to pay less in child support. They may even be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, making it necessary to convince the court to impute a fair amount of income to them for the purpose of determining a fair child support obligation. Houston child support attorney Maria Lowry knows how to investigate financial assets and ensure that net resources are being reported fully so that neither party is taking advantage of the other.
Post-Divorce Modification of Child Support in Texas
Child support orders can later be modified by the court if a change in circumstances has made the current order unfair or unworkable. Examples of changed circumstances which might justify a modification in the amount of child support include:
- A substantial increase in the income of the payor
- A significant change in the payor’s financial situation, due to factors such as a job loss or medical crisis
- A medical emergency for the child which has put an unfair burden on the custodial parent to cover all of the medical bills and costs of care
A modification is achieved by going back to court, filing the appropriate motion and arguing successfully to the judge that a modification is warranted. The court will grant or deny a modification based on what is fair to the parents and in the child’s best interest. As an experienced Houston child support lawyer, Maria Lowry assists clients by building and presenting a strong case arguing for or against any proposed modification.
Get Help with Child Support in Your Houston Divorce or Settlement
If you are a parent who is seeking to establish or modify a child support order in Houston, or if you are the parent being ordered to pay support, contact the Law Office of Maria Lowry for advice and representation from an experienced, knowledgeable and effective Houston child support lawyer.