NEW TEXAS FAMILY LAWS AFFECT CHILD SUPPORT

If you are paying or receiving child support within the Texas Family Code, a recent amendment to the law may increase the amount you pay or receive.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2013, the Texas child support guidelines “cap” has increased from $7,500 to $8,550. The first increase in 6 years, this hike was based on a 13.9 percent raise in the Consumer Price Index since 2007. Basically, it was time to increase the cap to account for inflation and the increased cost of living that all of us are facing.

Regardless of how the numbers were crunched, the real question is: How does this change affect me and my family? Let me explain.

Let’s say, for instance, a parent who pays child support earns $15,000 each month. Prior to Sept. 1, 2013 only $7,500 of that total amount was taken into consideration by the court when figuring out how much child support needs to be paid. Now, with the new law in effect, an additional $1,050 is counted, which means the parent receiving the child support should be entitled to higher child support.

Just because the law went into effect does not mean your child support has been automatically recalculated and increased, however. Whether you are paying or receiving, the amount will not change unless one party specifically requests the adjustment, or modification, and — of course — the court orders the modification.

A child support calculator can give you an idea of how much your child support will increase, but a Houston family law attorney can really assess your individual case to ensure you are paying or receiving the right amount.

Schedule a complimentary consultation with our office by calling (281) 885-8826 and mentioning this article.


More Changes in Child Support

The net resource cap is not the only amendment to child support laws in the Texas Family Code. Here are a couple more bills that also went into effect on Sept. 1.

CSHB 154 addresses the issue of mistaken paternity. This bill allows a man up to two years to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship, if he finds out the child is not genetically his and end his child support obligation going forward.

CSHB 3017 clarifies the income allowed to be counted when determining child support by including veterans’ benefits in the available pool of income.

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