Despite the emotions that often surround child custody and support issues that come with a divorce, Texas law encourages parents to make their own parenting plans without court intervention. Sometimes, it takes a lot of negotiations in order to come to an agreement. Other times, there is an impasse and only court involvement can resolve the problems. Whichever stage you are at, Attorney William Rice can assist you.
Call a Houston child custody attorney
A parenting plan defines which parent the children will live with during the week, on the weekend and on holidays. If the two parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will make custody and visitation orders it feels is in the best interest of the children. Factors that influence the court’s decision include, but are not limited to:
- The current emotional involvement of each parent with the children.
- Which parent is most likely to encourage a relationship with the other parent.
- Whether the children will be required to change schools.
- The relationship the children have with siblings, step-siblings and grandparents that may be disrupted by a certain custody arrangement.
- Whether there are any allegations of child abuse or neglect.
- The preference of a child who is over the age of 12.
The court will accept all relevant evidence, including testimony of teachers, psychologists, family members, friends and neighbors.
A Houston child support lawyer can help
Under Texas law, both parents are required to contribute to the support of their child until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. As with child custody, courts encourage parents to make their own agreements regarding child support. When parents cannot agree, there are Texas Guidelines courts follow with the deciding factor always being the best interest of the children.
There is almost always an order requiring the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. Guideline factors include:
- Calculating the total gross annual income of the noncustodial parent.
- Dividing the gross annual income by 12.
- Deducting state and federal taxes and other expenses such as Social Security.
- Establishing the percentage of the income that will go for child support.
- For one child, the noncustodial parent will be required to pay 20 percent of the gross income. The amount increases for each additional child and can go up to 40 percent for five children.
William J. Rice Jr. attorney at law has been helping families through the divorce process since 1975. He is thorough and persistent, with the knowledge and experience to help you with your child custody and support issues during this emotional time.