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How to Prepare for a Meeting with a Child Support Lawyer

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It’s a primary responsibility of all parents to provide for the financial needs of their children. When a couple separates or divorces, the court will typically order one parent to pay a set amount to the other to help with this cost of raising their kids. The formula is fairly straightforward, though every situation is unique. Regardless, the courts will always place a strong emphasis on the overall best interests of the children involved.

For purposes of child support calculations, the court will determine each parent’s “net monthly income.” This will take into account all wage and salary income (including commissions, overtime pay, tips and bonus earnings), interest, dividends, royalty income, self-employment income, rental income, and other non-cash benefits like retirement income, trust distributions, severance packages, annuities, and worker’s compensation. From here, the court will apply specific state guidelines and then make a decision based on a percentage of the paying parent’s net income. The percentages are based on the number of children and vary slightly with each additional child.

The court will also consider the cost of any special needs the child might have. Generally speaking, this will be a small portion of the total child support amount ordered by the court. These costs might include a medical exam or diagnosis, therapy, assistive devices, educational services, or other necessary expenses.

While the court will never require a parent to spend more than their means allow, it’s also important for parents to keep in mind that they can’t use the child support money for their own financial gain or other personal reasons. In fact, failing to pay the ordered child support can lead to serious consequences.

A good Fort Worth child support lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and they can also review your living expenses to determine how much child support you should be receiving or paying. They can even help you pursue the other party in a lawsuit to enforce or modify an existing child support agreement if necessary.

Child support will usually last until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school, unless otherwise stated by the court. It’s important to remember that a failure to make the required payments will carry significant penalties, including wage garnishment and potential jail time.

If you believe that your child’s other parent is spending the child support money on gambling, drugs, or other illegal activities, it’s important to contact an experienced Fort Worth family law attorney as soon as possible. The worst thing you can do is stop paying the child support to your ex-partner — doing this will only create more problems and harm your case in the long run.

A skilled family law attorney will have extensive experience in handling both child and spousal support disputes, and they can help you reach the most equitable result possible. If you’re ready to discuss your situation with an attorney, call Youngblood Law PLLC.

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