Child Support Lawyer Dallas, TX
A Dallas, TX child support lawyer understands that if you are going through a divorce and have children, one of the most important issues you will have to negotiate with your spouse is who will get custody of the children. This factor can also determine which parent will be paying child support. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, know that child support issues can often turn contentious and require a skilled negotiator and litigator in order to get the best outcome for the client.
In many child custody cases, the non-custodial parent (payor) is ordered to pay the custodial parent (payee) child support payments. This support is in place to help pay for the basic needs of the child, such as shelter, food, and clothing. Oftentimes, a child support ruling does not include payment for other expenses, such as medical costs, extra-curricular activities, childcare, or education expenses. However, these other expenses can be negotiated between the parents during or after a child custody/support case and presented to the court for approval.
Types of Child Support Calculation
There are two different types of child support calculation formulas that are used in the majority of states. The first type is the income shares model. This model is based on the idea that a child is entitled to receive the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have received had the household stayed intact and both parents were still living together and pooling their income. The income of both parents is used to come up with the child support obligation amount.
The second type of child support calculation formula commonly used is the percentage of income model. This type uses a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income. Unlike the income shares model, this type does not consider the custodial parent’s income at all.
With the percentage of income model, the amount of child support paid is based on how many children the couple has together and the payor’s net income. The net income is determined by subtracting certain expenses from the payor’s gross income. These expenses include:
- Federal and state income tax payments;
- Social Security (FICA) deductions;
- Union dues;
- Medical insurance premiums;
- Mandatory retirement contributions;
- Court-ordered life insurance premiums for support obligations; and
- Prior court-ordered obligations paid by the payor.
Uniform Order for Support
Once the court has determined the amount of child support the non-custodial parent must pay, a Uniform Order for Support will be entered. This order stipulates the amount the payment will be, as well as how often the payment will be made. Child support payments can be made weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly, depending on the court’s final decision.
The order will also stipulate whether or not the payor will compensate the payee directly or whether the payments will be automatically deducted from the payor’s wages. Additionally, there is a determination of how long payments will be made and what the penalty is for failing to meet child support obligations. The court also has the option to order the state’s child support agency to oversee the payments. In this case, the payments would go directly to the agency, which then disburses the funds to the payee.
Limited scope representation for Support
Many clients have received letters from the Texas Attorney General with regards to child support cases. These cases are often held in IV-D court or what is commonly known as child support court. Quite often many clients go into the hearing without any preparation or planning as to what will take place, what to bring, and what they can request. Upon conclusion of the hearing clients leave upset that they were railroaded into a decision that they do not agree with. Other times, clients wish they had the knowledge necessary to prepare and fight for their rights. All too often, clients who cannot afford full representation are left to their own devices in child support court and the majority of the time receive outcomes that are more harmful than helpful to them. Limited scope representation for child support is perfect for clients who do not need full representation but want to have a plan prior to their court date.
What options are included in limited scope representation for Child support?
Potential clients have the option to choose any of the following for a tailored limited scope representation with their child support lawyer.
· Planning. Stepping into a hearing for child support without any plan can be detrimental to not only your relationship with your child but also detrimental to your finances if not handled properly. A Dallas support attorney will analyze your case and advise you of your legal rights. In the planning stage, procedural advice will also be given concerning the court case as well as advice given after an investigation of the facts concerning your case. The attorney will also obtain documents and review the correspondence and pleadings filed in your case. Of utmost importance is the formulation of strategy and trial tactics between the child support lawyer and the client which takes place during the planning stage. The fee for the planning is hourly and the client can reserve as many hours as needed to plan for their case.
Will I have to pay back child support?
It depends, back child support or retroactive child support can be awarded in some cases based on the facts of the case. It is best to speak with the Dallas child support lawyer assigned to your case during the planning stage so that he or she can better advise you of the situation in your respective case.
What if I want the attorney to represent me in court?
The Limited scope representation for Child support does not cover representation in court. Clients who want representation in court for child support will have to sign a retainer agreement for full representation. Normally, the fees for full representation for child support is a flat fee per hearing.
What if I want to address access/possession as well as child support?
If you want to address access/possession and child support you will have to sign a Limited scope retainer agreement for SAPCR (Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship) that is more in depth and tailored to incorporate access/possession and child support.
The Attorney General is trying to force me to sign an order I do not agree with, what should I do?
Never sign something you do not agree with. Ultimately, the decision to sign or not sign is yours. The best advice would be to contact an attorney so that you can be informed of your rights and what route you need to take.
Can I just not attend the hearing?
Absolutely, it is your choice to attend or not attend the hearing for child support. However, not attending the hearing especially if you have had proper notice will more than likely lead the court to issue a default order. The default order may contain a child support amount that exceeds your financial capability because you did not appear at the hearing. It is always wise to attend every hearing so that you are represented in court and have the opportunity to be heard in court.
What if there is an attorney representing the other parent?
Limited scope representation does not prevent you from talking with the attorney representing the other parent. In fact, in a limited scope representation you are responsible for all aspects of your case not covered by the limited scope representation. The attorney assigned on your limited scope representation agreement will not be speaking with the attorney representing the other parent however, you are free to speak about the interactions in the planning stage while you and the attorney are formulating a strategy and determining trial tactics.
What if I want full representation later on?
Limited scope representation does not stop a client from obtaining full representation from the attorney assigned to their case. Sometimes, cases become too much to handle for a particular client. One of the great aspects about limited scope representation is you can change to full representation if any aspect of your case gets too much to handle. Another aspect is the Dallas lawyer will already have knowledge about your particular matter and will be in a better position to represent you if full representation is needed. Ultimately, limited scope representation allows the client to budget their legal expenses and enables the client to figure out where they need the attorney to help them out the most.
What is the next step to take full advantage of limited scope representation for Child support?
Call 800-958-4948 or contact us online to schedule a free in office consultation. Once your consultation is scheduled ensure that you have everything you need to be prepared for the consultation. You will want to gather all of your documents that you have filed or received from the court. Make an outline of the particular questions you have for the attorney and/or the issues in your case. Bring all of that information to your consultation so that you can get the most out of your consultation. The more information you have to share with the attorney, the easier it is for you and the child support lawyer in Dallas, TX to come up with a limited scope representation that fits your needs.
Contact a Child Support Lawyer
If you are having an issue with child support, contact a child support lawyer Dallas, TX families depend on from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to set up a free consultation and find out how we can help.