The Law Offices of Dayne Marguglio Attorney at Law

Child Support

When married parents divorce or separate, or when only one of the unmarried parents of a child has custody, the court may order the "non-custodial" parent (the parent with whom the child does not primarily live) to pay a certain portion of his or her income as child support. This is not the only scenario in which child support might arise. Less frequently, when neither parent has custody, the court may order them to pay child support to a third party who cares for their child.

Typically the non-custodial parent pays child support to the primary custodial parent pursuant to the child support guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code.  The amount of child support is based upon a number of factors such as the number of children before the court, the number of other children the obligor has a duty to support, the net resourses of the obligor, etc..  Additionally, the Court will consider the need for health care for the child and address the costs of health insurance for the child (which is usually part of child support).  With regard to health care, it normally makes sense for the parents to compare and contrast their respective health insurance plans through their employer and select whichever plan is best for the child.  If the custodial parent's health insurance plan is best for the child, then the non-cusotidal parent would usually be ordered by the Court to reimburse the custodial parent for the costs of the child's portion of the health insurance as part of the award of child support.


Obligors should keep in mind that failure of the obligee to allow visitaition with the child does not relieve you from the obligation to pay court-ordered child support.  If this occurs, you should seek counsel and advice on how to enforce your visitation rights.


Obligees should keep in mind that the failure of the obligor to pay child support doe not give you the right to refuse court-ordered visitation rights by the obligor.  Again, if you are not receiving child spport, you should continue to follow the other provisions of the Court's Orders and immediately seek counsel and advice on how to enforce your child support rights.


Retroactive Child Support

An ofen underconsidered issue with regard to child support is the issue of "reroactive" child support--this refers to the back child support that the custodial parent should have received from the date of separation of the parties (or the date of birth of the child in the event the parties never lived together).  Under Texas law there is a presumption that the Court may award retroactive child support for up to four (4) years.  However, the Court may award a judgment for retroactive child support for a longer period than four (4) years and possibly all the way back to the date of birth of the child in the event that the obligor knew or should have known that the obligor was the father of the child for whom support is sought; and the obligor sougt to avoid and evade the establishment of a support obligation to the child.  In the event that the Court awards cusodial parent a judgment or retroactive child support, this judgment will bear interest at 6% per annum and will usually be paid out on a monthly basis in addition to current child support.


Income Withholding Orders For Child Support

Whenever child support is ordered for a child, the Court usally also will enter and sign an Income Withholding Order For Child Support (hereinafter referred to as a garnishment order).  This garnishment order can then simply be sent to the obligor's employer payroll department and normally the garnishment order will be implemented by the obligor's employer within the next pay period following the date of receipt by the employer.  This is the easiest and most effective way to assure that child support payments are correctly and timely receive.


When Obligor Is Self-Employed Or An Independent Contractor


In the event that the obligor is self-employed or is an independent contractor or is paid in cash, the issuance of an income withhholding order upon an employer will not be effective in securing child support.  In this case, the obligor is required to simply pay his/her child support obligation to the obligee through the Texas State Disbursement Unit on their own accord.  Failure of an obligor to pay the court-ordered child support obligation may result in an enforcement action which could lead to confinement in jail if the obligor is found guilty of being in contempt of court for failure to pay child support. 


Regardless of the obligor's circumstances, we look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child support and health care concerns and will take the necesaary steps to secure best possible result for you and your child(ren).

Dallas Divorce Lawyer

Family Law lawyer, Dayne Marguglio, provides comprehensive and compassionate family law services in Dallas, Fort Worth,Highland Park, Plano, Grapevine, Richardson, Garlandand other surrounding cities.


Dayne Marguglio
Turley Law Center
6440 N. Central Expressway
Suite 310
Dallas, Texas 75206

phone: 214-750-8603
facsimile: 214-692-8973

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