the firm with a fresh perspective
The end of a marriage brings both spouses into a new and uncertain economic future. The marriage may have been structured in a way where one spouse earned significantly more income than the other. If children are involved, their needs have to be provided for.
Spousal maintenance and child support payments are the legal means used to redress any imbalances and give both spouses some measure of security.
The Round Rock divorce payments lawyers at Pennington Law PLLC combine creative thinking, an efficient use of technology, a studious approach to case law, and a fighting spirit to get results for our clients. We serve all of Williamson County and Travis County, and both English and Spanish-speaking clients.
Call today at (512) 877-4384 or contact our child support/spousal support lawyers online for a free consultation.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Texas?
Both parents have an equal responsibility to share the financial costs of raising children. This is true regardless of how the matter of custody is worked out. The state of Texas begins the process of calculating child support payments with the formula below.
First, add up the gross income of the non-custodial parent. This includes not only salaries, commissions, and bonuses from employment but any income that may come from investments, Social Security, and other government programs. A Texas judge has the option of valuing assets that are not income but could be turned into income (a car, real estate, etc.) and including it in the gross income tally.
Second, determine net income by subtracting taxes, union dues, and other mandatory payments. This can include spousal maintenance payments from a previous marriage (and on the flip side, spousal maintenance received counts toward gross income). Once the expenses are subtracted from the gross, the court has established the non-custodial parent’s net income.
This is the baseline figure: If there is one child to support, the non-custodial parent pays 20 percent of their net income on a monthly basis. The figure rises to 25 percent with two kids and gradually escalates to 40 percent if there are five children.
A judge has the option of changing the baseline, but what the baseline figure does is put the burden of proof on the spouse who wants the higher or lower amount to demonstrate why it is necessary. Medical expenses associated with a sick child might be one reason a judge would increase the support payment required. If the paying spouse has children from a prior marriage they are also paying for, that could be a reason for decreasing support payment totals in this current divorce.
Every circumstance is different, and it’s the responsibility of a Round Rock divorce payments attorney to bring a fresh set of eyes to each and every case.
Child Support Attorneys with a Fresh Perspective
At Pennington Law PLLC, we pride ourselves on bringing a creative, fresh-thinking approach to each case. In fact, our clients count on us to think outside the box and fight for them. That’s exactly what we do.
We know how to use technology to push for more efficient results. We also know the basic importance of relationships and seek to understand how each individual judge we work with approaches various family law cases.
To find out more about how we can help with your child support case, call (512) 877-4384 today and book your free initial consultation.
Spousal maintenance payments are different from child support. The money a spouse receives for child support must be spent for the benefit of the children. A maintenance payment, also known as “alimony,” is intended to allow each spouse to enjoy the standard of living they had during the marriage, at least to the greatest extent possible.
Texas law recognizes that one spouse may have given up at least a part of their ability to earn income to serve the overall goals of the marriage. A common example is certainly one spouse staying home or working part-time so they can devote more time to raising children. Another circumstance may arise if there are elderly parents who require extra care, and one spouse assumes the role of caregiver. Even though this spouse may have earned less income, their contributions are no less valued in the eyes of the law.
In addition to the child-raising and caregiving scenarios mentioned above, another circumstance might have one spouse doing well in their career because the other helped pay for their education. Perhaps it was getting a master’s degree in night school that enabled professional advancement. A fair divorce settlement will ensure that the other spouse is made whole.
Courts will also consider what it might take to allow the economically disadvantaged spouse to start a new career or restart an old one. It’s not uncommon for spousal maintenance to include paying for night school or other forms of vocational training.
How Long Do You Need to Pay Alimony?
The duration of spousal maintenance payments is capped at 10 years.
The precise duration, and the amount of the payments, will be determined by a wide range of factors that will be unique to each marriage. Texas desires for each spouse to eventually become financially independent of the other.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Team
Every case will be a little bit different. It’s imperative that the Round Rock divorce payments lawyer a spouse works with always has an alert, fresh set of eyes on their particular case.
At Pennington Law PLLC, we are known for our innovative legal strategies and solutions. So why wait?
“I truly am impressed at not only how professional, knowledgeable, hardworking, and thorough the Tyler Pennington law firm was but also by how they made us feel that our case was a top priority.” - Cynthia V.
“He focused on the case itself when dealing with the judge and other attorneys and did not play into the games. I felt very supported both personally and professionally.” - Gabrielle H.