Child and Spousal Support:

 Texas law provides for specific ways of determining the amount of monthly child support. The law as currently written determines the amount per a simple calculation.
 Generally, child support is calculated at (the per who pays support net monthly income) multiplied by (either 20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, and so on). The Texas Family Code determines how many and how much the monthly deductions are to determine gross monthly net income. Obligors are entitled to deduct from their paycheck FICA and Social Security Taxes as well as the cost of maintaining health insurance for the children. Generally, 401(k) contributions or any type of loan repayments deducted from the paycheck are not allowed to be deducted in determining net monthly income.
 Additionally, the percentage that is applied in determining the amount of child support will be reduced if the obligor has other children that are not before the court and the person has a legal responsibility to pay child support.
 The question of how to determine net monthly income is sometimes difficult to determine if the obligor (per who will be paying support) has been unemployed or changes jobs frequently. Generally, Courtís will average a personís monthly income over a period of time if there has been fluctuations in the amount of income a person receives. Additionally, if a person is unemployed at the time a child support order is established the Courtís will base child support based upon the federal minimum wage at 40 hours a week. The Courtís and our society impose an absolute duty to financially support oneís children. When special circumstances exist or there are gaps in employment, there isnít a hard and fast rule as to how to calculate current child support and factors such as what County you reside in, what Court you are in and ultimately what Judge will hear your case play a factor.
 The penalties for not paying child support are severe. This includes civil penalties, attorneyís fees, judgment liens on a personís house (even if they are remarried), liens on federal income tax refunds, and ultimately jail terms.
 You are a single parent trying to get child support or enforce a child support order that is being ignored by the person who is supposed to pay, then contact a private lawyer. If you can not afford a lawyer please contact the Texas Attorney General at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/child/index.shtml. If you are married and separated, the Attorney General will not handle your divorce, but they will establish a child support order until you can afford to retain a lawyer to complete and consummate a divorce.
 If you are paying child support and your income changes to the point that you can not afford to pay your monthly child support obligation to contact a lawyer to lower your child support. As described above itís relatively simple to calculate current child support (unlike other states that have complex child support calculations) and Courtís regularly lower the amount due to reflect current earnings.

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