Texas Child Custody & Texas Child Support
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If children are involved in your divorce, you will need to work out custody, visitation and support issues with your ex. All courts, regardless of the state you live in, prefer parents to work out the details of raising their children together after a divorce. If a court needs to get involved, usually because the parents can’t agree, the court will always look to the best interests of the child or children in deciding issues of custody, visitation and support. Following are the Texas laws governing child custody and support.
Texas Child Custody:
Texas courts try to do everything possible to decrease the emotional impact on children whose parents are divorcing. The courts will encourage the parents to work out a plan. If the parents cannot agree on a custody plan, the court will use its own discretion to establish a custody order that will always be based on the best interest of the child or children. The court will also consider:
1) The health, welfare and safety of the child(ren);
2) Any history of neglect, sexual abuse, or sexual assault by a parent;
3) Any history of family violence.
A child over 12 may file a document with the court asking to have custody given to a person chosen by that child.
Texas Child Support:
Texas courts use something called the Percentage of Income formula to calculate how much a parent must provide for support of the child or children. The court requires a parent to pay a certain percentage of his or her income for child support. The percentage is based on the number of children. For example, a non-custodial parent with one child might be required to pay 20% of his or her net income as child support. In some situations both parents may be required to pay child support. See Texas Divorce Resources and Statutes for child support enforcement resources.
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to childrearing after a divorce, and serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement.
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