Child Support in High-Asset Divorce
Parents have certain rights and responsibilities towards their children, including the legal responsibility to contribute financially to their upbringing. When the parents of children are not together, it is common for one parent to care for their children for the majority of the time, while the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay child support.
In Texas, there are limits on the amount of child support that a parent can be expected to pay. However, in a high-asset divorce, it is common for the primary caregiver to require more support to meet their children’s needs. For example, perhaps your child attends a private school or takes part in extracurricular activities. If parents can establish that their child has higher needs than what state guidelines cover, then the court may issue a higher amount of child support.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we always prioritize the needs of children in all family law matters. However, we also understand the financial hardship that divorce, separation, and support payments can cause. When it comes to child support agreements, we want to ensure that children’s needs are met but that the order does not leave either parent in financial distress.
Our law firm has been helping people in Texas with family law matters for many years and has countless cases to draw upon. We offer a personalized approach and will support and guide you from beginning to end. Our priority is for you to be able to move forward with your life with financial stability and confidence.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced child support lawyer at Youngblood Law, PLLC.
What is a High Asset Divorce?
A high-asset divorce is a divorce in which one of both spouses’ estates equates to a high value. High net worth divorces are complex because they usually involve assets that are challenging to divide and a child support obligation that deviates from standard guidelines. They may also involve a child custody arrangement and a spousal support order.
The outcome of these factors will have a big impact on your future and the future of your family. It is, therefore, essential that you have the support of a family law attorney who has experience in high-asset divorces and understands how to support you.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have managed numerous high-asset divorce cases and have a wealth of resources that will ensure that you reach a fair outcome. Utilizing the low-conflict strategies, we will help you find a fair, out-of-court resolution to your divorce. However, if a court case is necessary, then we will be prepared to fight on your behalf in front of a Judge.
Calculating Child Support in Texas
Payments cover expenses such as food, clothing, education, childcare, and extracurricular activities, to name a few. In most cases, the parent that does not have primary custody of the child pays child support to the custodial parent.
Texas child support laws set out guidelines for how much child support should be ordered in each case, depending on a parent’s net monthly income. However, these guidelines take many factors into consideration. There are usually caps based on the number of children. For example, one parent can receive up to 20% of a parent’s net income, which raises by 5% for each additional child, up to six children.
In addition to these guidelines, there are limits on a parent’s income of $7500 a month. If a parental income exceeds this amount, it won’t necessarily result in a higher total child support obligation.
However, often monthly child support works differently in high-asset divorces. These are minimum child support guidelines, and if a parent can prove that a child requires further financial support for their needs, the final payments can be higher.
Factors Affecting Child Support Payments
In addition to the Texas child support formula, the Judge may also consider additional factors. Whatever decision is made, the Judge must prioritize the best interests of the child. Other factors which the Judge may consider include:
- The child’s needs
- How much time each parent spends with their child
- How much each parent earns and their overall financial situation, including obligations or debts
- The cost of education provisions and health care
- The cost of traveling to visit the child
- Whether the obligee receives spousal support
- Whether one or more children have a mental or physical disability
Although a decision must be made based on the child’s best interest, the judge also does not want to leave the parent without sufficient money to meet their own basic standards of living. They also want to ensure that the child’s basic needs are met. A child support lawyer can help you achieve an arrangement that meets your needs and reflects your financial situation.
What Happens If I Can’t Make My Child Support Payments?
Parents have a legal obligation to pay child support. Texas family law does not look kindly on parents that do not meet their child support obligations. The courts can garnish child support from your wages and intercept tax refunds to recover missed payments. The courts have additional powers to impose penalties to punish parents for missing child support payments, including revoking driving and professional licenses, property seizing, fines of up to $500 per missed payment, and jail time.
If there is a justifiable reason that you cannot pay your child support, such as a change in your financial circumstances, seek legal help to modify your agreement as soon as possible to avoid serious penalties.
Can a Child Support Order be Changed?
One of our child support attorneys can help you to apply for a modification. In order to be successful, you will need to prove that either:
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a change in employment, if a child becomes mentally or physically disabled, or if one parent has more children.
- The amount of child support that would be ordered under current guidelines differs by 20% or $100 from what is outlined in the current child support agreement.
Some cases of modifying child support can be relatively simple. If both parents agree, you may not think legal representation is necessary. However, child support is enforced by court order and can have serious implications on your life.
In more challenging modification cases, such as a contested modification, legal counsel is essential. If your ex-spouse plans to contest your proposed changes, they will almost certainly have legal representation. As such, an experienced child support lawyer is crucial to fighting your child support case.
Dividing Assets in a High Net-Worth Divorce
In a high-asset divorce, one of the most challenging issues is property division. In Texas, community property, which is property that either spouse acquired while they were married, must be divided in an equitable manner.
An equitable division doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split, and the court may consider various factors when dividing property. For example, if one spouse is the primary caregiver for the couple’s children, then perhaps they should keep the marital home.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we will help you divide property in a just and fair way. We will learn what’s important to you and will fight for you to keep it. We want you to move forward from your marriage, feeling confident about your future and financial stability.
Child Support in High Asset Divorce FAQs
After September 1st, 2018, parents filing for divorce must ensure that their children’s medical and dental needs are met. The parent who is ordered to pay child support should also provide medical and dental insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost. A reasonable cost is 9% or less of the payer’s annual income for medical coverage and 1.5% for dental coverage.
In Texas, child support obligation usually lasts until a child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever comes later. However, if the child has a mental or physical incapacity then child support may need to be paid until the court orders otherwise.
The cost of representation is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the complexity. When you contact our law firm for a free consultation, we will explain our fee structure so that you can make an informed decision about your next steps.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Child support helps ensure that the custodial parent has the financial resources to care for their child, including providing shelter, food, toys, and more. However, it is important that the best interests of the child are balanced with the financial stability of both parents.
Child support in high-asset divorce often deviates from usual guidelines. This creates unique complications, and it is essential that you have the support and guidance of a law firm that knows how to best navigate high-asset divorce.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have represented numerous clients through high-net-worth divorces and will work with you to develop a clear strategy. Whether you want to work outside of the court process or you need an attorney who is prepared to advocate on your behalf in front of a Judge, we can help.
We will work with you to find resolutions to all issues relating to your divorce, including establishing child support, child custody, spousal support, and property division. The outcome of these matters will have a huge impact on your future and those of your children. So do not hesitate to arrange a free consultation today at 817-369-3970.