Why Is My Child Support This Much? 

Texas Child Support Factors

In a media covered ruling on Monday, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a father of three, Daniel Halseth, now divorced from former state senator, Elizabeth Halseth,  must pay $2,274 a month in child support to his ex-wife.   This ruling came from an appeal by Daniel Halseth on the basis that he only earns $1,716 in unemployment each month.  In the article that I read, it mentioned several things that are interesting for Texas child support: he was a stay-at-home parent, there were claims of an extramarital affair, underemployment, and co-habitation after divorce.

Texas Child Support and Underemployment

In Texas, child support is set based monthly net income and the number of children from the marriage.  Using the number of children to determine the percentage, that percentage is due each month for child support.  If the parent paying child support (obligor) doesn’t present evidence of income, the court will presume that the obligor has income equal to the federal minimum wage for a 40-hour work week.  But, if the actual income of the child support payor parent is intentionally significantly less than what that parent could earn, the court can use the support guidelines to set child support based on what that parent could earn.

Texas Child Support and the Duty to Support Children

In Texas, child support is an obligation of the parent based on the duty to support their children.  Child support is set using the information above and on these things: the best interests of the children, their actual needs, medical support and care, the age of the children, amount of time spent with each parent, child care costs.  This is just a partial list of things that the court can consider when setting child support, but an extramarital affair isn’t one of the things the court is going to consider.  And, while Texas doesn’t have a specific statute about cohabiting there is a statute that specifically says that the court cannot add resources (income) of a new spouse to either the obligor or the parent receiving the child support (obligee) when considering and calculating child support.  Makes sense.  The new spouse doesn’t have a legal duty to the children.

Texas child support isn’t only a calculation but much more can be used to set the amount.  Contact a lawyer today about your child support questions: Jill O’Connell 940-497-5454.

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