One of the most important things a parent does for his or her children is to provide financial stability and security. For unmarried parents, the payment of child support is a critical component of caring for their kids, but the amount one may have to pay depends on factors unique to the individual situation. If you will be paying or receiving child support after a divorce, it will be in your interests to understand how the court makes decisions on this issue.
Child support can be a complicated and emotional issue for parents. You want to care for your kid, but you may also have serious concerns about your ability to keep up with required payments or care for your kids without financial help. As you navigate your divorce or consider negotiations that could impact your future, you will find it helpful to know how your rights and how you can pursue a final order that will make sense for you and your family for years to come.
Calculations based on your situation
When making child support calculations, a family court will look at specific factors in order to determine an appropriate amount. It may help to remember that the primary goal will be to protect the best interests of the children by ensuring they have necessary financial support. Some of the factors that could affect a child support order include:
- Specific needs of the child, including insurance, health care and more
- Educational needs and cost of tuition
- Financial capabilities and income of both parents
- Ability of either parent to provide for the child
- Standard of living the child enjoyed before a divorce
You and the other parent have the right to pursue an out-of-court agreement on child support, but any agreement is subject to the approval of the court. You also have the right to seek a specific outcome if you have concerns about your ability to pay or other issues that could affect your child.
What if you can’t pay?
Financial circumstances can change, even after a divorce is final. If you are making or receiving child support and you are experiencing issues that affect your ability to make payments or meet your child’s needs, you have the right to seek a modification of an existing child support order. It may be helpful to learn about child support laws in Texas and how you can protect your long-term interests before you move forward.