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Can the child support order deviate from the state guidelines?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2023 | Firm News

When a Texas couple gets divorced and they have children, there might be issues surrounding how much child support will be paid. To ensure that the child is properly cared for and their needs are met, the state has in place specific guidelines detailing how much will be paid. The guidelines are broad based and might not suit every single situation.

For cases in which circumstances might warrant deviating from the guidelines, it is imperative for both the custodial parent who is receiving the payments and the non-custodial parent who is making the payments – the obligor – to be fully aware of how state law addresses potential deviations from the guidelines.

The child support guidelines might not suit every case

The court will make its determinations based on the best interests of the child. The guidelines are calculated to ensure that threshold is met, but there are times when it might not be applicable.

The parent who wants to deviate from the guidelines must rebut the presumption that the they suit the child’s best interests. The amount must be just and appropriate based on the child’s needs. If, for example, the child has a disability that must be addressed, then the payments could be more than what the guidelines say.

Other factors include the parents’ ability to contribute to the child’s upkeep and care. Some people are in a better financial state than others. If the custodial parent comes from wealth and has significant resources, then the support order might not be as much as it would be in a different landscape. The same is true for people who are of lesser means and might need more than what the guidelines indicate.

The obligor could have access to significant sums through employment, property or other means. This too could mean that the payments will differ from what the guideline says. Other factors include child care; alimony; if there are extra payments for education; if either side derives extra benefits from an employer; debts; and other costs.

Qualified assistance can help with achieving family law goals

Texans undoubtedly want the best for their children, but the child support guidelines do not always suit every situation. Regardless of whether it is the obligor who wants a deviation or the custodial parent who is asking for it, it is imperative to have assistance that can assess the situation and take the necessary steps to try and reach the desired objective.

Having assistance that will listen intently to a person’s concerns and goals can make a major difference in feeling comfortable and moving forward in the case. Perhaps there are openings to negotiate with the other party. Or there are viable strategies for the child support order to differ from what the guidelines say.

Having guidance from professionals who can craft custom solutions using forward-thinking strategies can be crucial to achieving a successful result. This is particularly true with people who are in the younger range and have school-age children. No matter the situation, there are options and having comprehensive help from the start can be useful in reaching a positive result.