Fathers Rights Blogs

Sep
30

Texas Child Support Guidelines

Effective September 1, 2019 The Texas Child Support Division of the Attorney General increased the Maximum child Support under the Texas Child Support Guidelines from $8,550 to the “new cap”of net monthly resources to $9200 annually. This change in the law will increase the amount of maximum child support from of $1,710.00 to $1,840.00 monthly (20% of $9200. For one child)
Click Here to Read Updated Information

Under the Texas Family Code §154.125 the guidelines for child support are as follows:

(a) The guidelines for the support of a child in this section are specifically designed to apply to situations in which the obligor’s monthly net resources are not greater than $7,500 or the adjusted amount determined under Subsection (a-1), whichever is greater.

(a-1)  The dollar amount prescribed by Subsection (a) above is adjusted every six years as necessary to reflect inflation.  The Title IV-D agency shall compute the adjusted amount, to take effect beginning September 1 of the year of the adjustment, based on the percentage change in the consumer price index during the 72-month period preceding March 1 of the year of the adjustment, as rounded to the nearest $50 increment.  The Title IV-D agency shall publish the adjusted amount in the Texas Register before September 1 of the year in which the adjustment takes effect.  For purposes of this subsection, “consumer price index” has the meaning assigned by Section 341.201, Finance Code.

(a-2)  The initial adjustment required by Subsection (a-1) shall take effect September 1, 2013.  This subsection expires September 1, 2014.

(b)        if the obligor’s monthly net resources are not greater than the amount provided by Subsection (a), the court shall presumptively apply the following schedule in rendering the child support order:

CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR 

1 child              20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
2 children          25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
3 children          30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
4 children          35% of Obligor’s Net Resources
5 children          40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
6+ children        Not less than the amount for 5 children

Depending on the number of other children an obligor has a duty to support, the percentage of child support may be lower.  For example, if the obligor was previously married and has 1 child to support in the previous marriage, the amount of support paid for one child before the court decreases to 17.50 percent.  See the chart below.

 

                          Multiple Family Adjusted Guidelines  (% of Net Resources)

                   Net Monthly Resources X Percentage Below
=
Monthly Child Support Obligation

 

 

 

Number
of other children
for whom
the obligor has a duty
of support

Number of Children Before the Court

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

0

20.00

25.00

30.00

35.00

40.00

40.00

40.00

1

17.50

22.50

27.38

32.20

37.33

37.71

38.00

2

16.00

20.63

25.20

30.33

35.43

36.00

36.44

3

14.75

19.00

24.00

29.00

34.00

34.67

35.20

4

13.60

18.33

23.14

28.00

32.89

33.60

34.18

5

13.33

17.86

22.50

27.22

32.00

32.73

33.33

6

13.14

17.50

22.00

26.60

31.27

32.00

32.62

7

13.00

17.22

21.60

26.09

30.67

31.38

32.00

 Net resources are determined by deducting the following from the obligor’s income:

  1. Social Security Taxes;
  2. Federal Income Tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deductions;
  3. State Income Tax;
  4. Union Dues (if such deductions are being withheld); and
  5. Expenses for Health Insurance Coverage for Obligor’s Child(ren) (if such deductions are being withheld).
By Nacol Law Firm | Child Support For Fathers
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STAY AT HOME DADS – A Shift in Trend

If you turn on the television you will see a Mother seeing Dad off to work and then tending to the children and baking some brownies for the upcoming bake sale.  In actuality, such a lifestyle in America rarely reflects the real modern day family.  

The number of stay-at-home dads has increased in popularity and occurrence over the years and is notably on the rise in Texas.  Could a reversal of old traditional roles be on the increase in this recession? Women are less affected by layoffs and have a better legal posture due to Affirmative Action.  Recent studies from the Pew Research Center found a third of all wives earn more than their husbands.  Or, is it simply a honest and legitimate desire for some men who recently became fathers in the past decade to be the primary caregiver?  Whatever the reason is, many men enjoy it, and many current studies are positively supporting this untraditional position.

Researchers and psychologists are finding a father’s role to be as or more influential than that of a mother in the first five years of the child’s development and that fathers play a key role in the “gender” role identification of their children.  Some proclaim that having the dad as the primary caretaker properly prepares children for life lessons.  Mothers reassure their small ones during a frustrating situation, while fathers encourage their little ones to manage the situation.  Statistics have shown that children are smarter with a stay-at-home dad and are less likely to focus on gender issues, such as a “No Boys Allowed” sign outside their bedroom door.  A father’s guidance can promote a greater level of curiosity, greater emotional balance, and a stronger sense of confidence.  The Center for Successful Fathering in Austin, Texas cites that fathers who are an active participant in parenting produce children who makes higher grades, have greater ambition, show fewer anxiety disorders, and enjoy a reduced risk of juvenile delinquency or teen pregnancy.

Mothers are getting a pretty good deal as well.  They have the security in knowing that their babies are being looked after by a loved one.  This relieves stress and worry that occurs while children are in day care.  Apart from the safety and family treatment of their children, mothers know that a strong bond is forming between their little one and dad.  Fathers who work outside the home sometimes have a difficult time connecting with their babies, but that doesn’t appear to hold true for mothers.  Mothers can build bonds despite working outside of the home and not spending as much time with their children.  No one can be 100% sure why this holds true, it just appears to be the case.  Mothers can also find comfort in knowing that the fathers will instill values.  Its one thing knowing your child is being molded by someone else’s values; it’s quite another knowing you are paying top dollar for it.  Fortune Magazine reported that over a third of its “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” had a stay-at-home spouse.

As far as social integration, stay-at-home dads may have an advantage.  For example, at school the “alpha” mom doesn’t feel threaten by a dad taking a leading role in the PTA, nor does a dad feel like he has to compete with the “alpha” mom.  People are more likely to cater to a father when he walks into a store with his children, whereas if the mom walks in with kids she often receives a look like: Please don’t let her children break anything.

What are the disadvantages of dad staying at home?  A father who chooses to stay home and not work may suffer from the employment gap. Future potential employers may think they have lost or reduced their business skills and expertise when trying to reenter the work field.  Alternatively, not all dads who stay home choose not to work. The numbers of stay-at-home dads consist of not only fathers who do not work, but also fathers who work part time or work from their homes.  Another disadvantage may be that the arrangement is simply not financially workable, so the family may struggle with implementing their decision.

The mom stays at home trend has shifted and the growing idea of Stay-At-Home Dads is becoming an accepted reality in today’s world. In the next five years, you may turn on the television and see dad seeing mom off to work and then tending to the children, and possibly even baking some brownies for the upcoming bake sale.

Stay-at- home dads are still fighting old myths and prejudices, but make no mistake: kids are in very good hands with dad.

By Nacol Law Firm | Stay At Home Dads
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Rights and Duties of a Parent – Joint Managing Conservator in Texas

Rights and Duties of a Parent –  Joint Managing Conservator in Texas.
Waiver To the Guidelines is a Matter of Court Discretion

As a joint managing conservator of a child in a divorce proceeding in Texas, unless special circumstances arise justifying a variance from the Guidelines, the Court will normally order guideline code rights and duties and a parent will be awarded the following:

1.the right to receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child.

2.the right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child.

3.the right of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child.

4.the right to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child.

5.the right to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities.

6.the right to attend school activities.

7.the right to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency.

8.the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child.

9.the right to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent/conservator or the parent/conservator’s family.

10.the duty to inform the other conservator of the child in a timely manner of significant information concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child; and

11.the duty to inform the other conservator of the child if the conservator resides with for at least thirty days, marries, or intends to marry a person who the conservator knows is registered as a sex offender under chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or is currently charged with an offense for which on conviction the person would be required to register under that chapter.  IT IS ORDERED that this information shall be tendered in the form of a notice made as soon as practicable, but not later than the fortieth day after the date the conservator of the child begins to reside with the person or on the tenth day after the date the marriage occurs, as appropriate.  IT IS ORDERED that the notice must include a description of the offense that is the basis of the person’s requirement to register as a sex offender or of the offense with which the person is charged.  WARNING:  A CONSERVATOR COMMITS AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE AS A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR IF THE CONSERVATOR FAILS TO PROVIDE THIS NOTICE.

12.the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child.

13.the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, and medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure.

14.the right to consent for the child to medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure.

15.the right to direct the moral and religious training of the child.

16.Only one parent shall have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of child in a specific geographical area, which is commonly the county in which the child currently resides and the contiguous counties thereto.

17.the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right;

18.the right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment of the child may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right;

19.Only one parent shall have the exclusive right to receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the child;

20.the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right;

21.the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right;

22.the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education may be subject to agreement, an independent right a joint right or an exclusive right;

23.except as provided by section 264.0111 of the Texas Family Code, the right to the services and earnings of the child may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right;

24.except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right; and

25.the right to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by community property or the joint property of the parent/conservator may be subject to agreement, an independent right or an exclusive right.

In accordance with section 153.001 of the Texas Family Code, it is the public policy of Texas to assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child, to provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child, and to encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.  The Court will therefore normally establish the primary residence of the child in the county where the child currently resides and/or a contiguous county thereto, and the parties shall not remove the child from such county for the purpose of changing the primary residence of child until there is a modification to the existing order of the court of continuing jurisdiction or a written agreement signed by the parties and filed with the court.

The geographical restriction on the residence of the child may be lifted or modified if, at the time the primary parent with the right to establish residence wishes to remove the child from the county for the purpose of changing the primary residence of the child, the other parent does not reside in that county or a contiguous county thereto.

Time constraints, employment issues of the primary Joint Managing Conservator, and other material factors may come into play when a Joint Managing Conservator requests waiver of the geographical restrictions.  It customarily is a very difficult, but not always insurmountable, burden to achieve a geographical restriction waiver.  The success, consistency and regularity of the non-primary conservator’s possession and access to the child is a factor the court will view in making a ruling.  Frequently, an agreement to adjust the amount of support and/or transportation costs comes into play in resolving such disputes.

By Nacol Law Firm | Child Custody . Possession of Children
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New Texas Paternity Law for Fathers

We hear a lot about dead-beat dads, or parents who do not pay their child support obligations. Now it is time for “fathers” or men who have been paying child support for children who are not their biological children to assert their rights.

Texas has a new law, Texas SB785, which permits men who have been ordered to pay child support, without genetic testing, to request genetic testing in order to determine whether they are the genetic parent of the child.

After September 1, 2012, a man must file a petition to determine genetic parentage no later than the first anniversary of the date on which he becomes aware of facts indicating that he is not the child’s genetic father.

By Nacol Law Firm | Paternity . Videos on Fathers Rights
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The Standard Child Possession Order – Texas Family Code

When parents are battling over divorce issues and child custody, they often times do not understand that the Texas Family Code has expanded the child possession order to make parents joint managing conservators with equal rights and duties and possession of the child.  It is important to keep in mind that, under certain circumstances, and depending on the age of a child, a Judge may alter the standard possession order in any way that serves the best interest of the child.

The following is an example of a standard possession order for a parent who lives within 100 miles of their child under the Texas Family Code.

IT IS ORDERED that the conservators shall have possession of the child at times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties, and, in the absence of mutual agreement, it is ORDERED that the conservators shall have possession of the child under the specified terms set out in this Standard Possession Order.

(c)        Parents Who Reside 100 Miles or Less Apart

Except as otherwise explicitly provided in this Standard Possession Order, when Possessory Conservator resides 100 miles or less from the primary residence of the child, Possessory Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child as follows:

1.         Weekends—

On weekends that occur during the regular school term, beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month and ending at the time the child’s school resumes after the weekend.

On weekends that do not occur during the regular school term, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday.

2.         Weekend Possession Extended by a Holiday—Except as otherwise explicitly provided in this Standard Possession Order, if a weekend period of possession by Conservator begins on a Friday that is a school holiday during the regular school term or a federal, state, or local holiday during the summer months when school is not in session, or if the period ends on or is immediately followed by a Monday that is such a holiday, that weekend period of possession shall begin at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on the Thursday immediately preceding the Friday holiday or school holiday or end on that Monday holiday or school holiday at the time school resumes after that school holiday, as applicable.

3.         Thursdays—On Thursday of each week during the regular school term, beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed and ending at the time the child’s school resumes on Friday.

4.         Spring Break in Even-Numbered Years—In even-numbered years, beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on the day the child is dismissed from school for the school’s spring vacation and ending at the time school resumes after that vacation.

5.         Extended Summer Possession by Possessory Conservator—

With Written Notice by April 1—If Possessory Conservator gives  Managing Conservator written notice by April 1 of a year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession for that year, Possessory Conservator shall have possession of the child for thirty days beginning no earlier than the day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending no later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation in that year, to be exercised in no more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, as specified in the written notice, provided that the period or periods of extended summer possession do not interfere with Father’s Day Weekend. These periods of possession shall begin and end at 6:00 p.m.

Without Written Notice by April 1—If Possessory Conservator does not give Managing Conservator written notice by April 1 of a year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession for that year, Possessory Conservator shall have possession of the child for thirty consecutive days in that year beginning at 6:00 p.m. on July 1 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on July 31.

Notwithstanding the Thursday periods of possession during the regular school term and the weekend periods of possession ORDERED for Possessory Conservator, it is explicitly ORDERED that Managing Conservator shall have a superior right of possession of the child as follows:

1.         Spring Break in Odd–Numbered Years—In odd-numbered years, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the school’s spring vacation and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation.

2.         Summer Weekend Possession by Managing Conservator—If Managing Conservator gives Possessory Conservator written notice by April 15 of a year, Managing Conservator shall have possession of the child on any one weekend beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday during any one period of the extended summer possession by Possessory Conservator in that year, provided that Managing Conservator picks up the child from Possessory Conservator and returns the child to that same place and that the weekend so designated does not interfere with Father’s Day Weekend.

3.         Extended Summer Possession by Managing Conservator—If Managing Conservator gives Possessory Conservator written notice by April 15 of a year or gives Possessory Conservator fourteen days’ written notice on or after April 16 of a year, Managing Conservator may designate one weekend beginning no earlier than the day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending no later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, during which an otherwise scheduled weekend period of possession by Possessory Conservator shall not take place in that year, provided that the weekend so designated does not interfere with Possessory Conservator’s period or periods of extended summer possession or with Father’s Day Weekend.

(e)        Holidays Unaffected by Distance

Notwithstanding the weekend and Thursday periods of possession of Possessory Conservator, Managing Conservator and Possessory Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child as follows:

1.         Christmas Holidays in Even-Numbered Years—In even-numbered years, Possessory Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and Managing Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

2.         Christmas Holidays in Odd-Numbered Years—In odd-numbered years, Managing Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and Possessory Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at the time the child’s school resumes after that Christmas school vacation.

3.         Thanksgiving in Odd-Numbered Years—In odd-numbered years, Possessory Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at the time the child’s school resumes after that Thanksgiving holiday.

4.         Thanksgiving in Even-Numbered Years—In even-numbered years, Managing Conservator shall have the right to possession of the child beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

5.         Child’s Birthday—If a conservator is not otherwise entitled under this Standard Possession Order to present possession of the child on the child’s birthday, that conservator shall have possession of the child and the child’s minor siblings beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m. on that day, provided that that conservator picks up the child from the other conservator’s residence and returns the child to that same place.

6.         Father’s Day Weekend—Father shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day, provided that if Father is not otherwise entitled under this Standard Possession Order to present possession of the child, he shall pick up the child from the other conservator’s residence and return the child to that same place.

7.         Mother’s Day Weekend—Mother shall have the right to possession of the child each year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day, provided that if Mother is not otherwise entitled under this Standard Possession Order to present possession of the child, she shall pick up the child from the other conservator’s residence and return the child to that same place.

(g)        General Terms and Conditions

Except as otherwise explicitly provided in this Standard Possession Order, the terms and conditions of possession of the child that apply regardless of the distance between the residence of a parent and the child are as follows:

1.         Surrender of Child by Managing Conservator—Managing Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Possessory Conservator at the beginning of each period of Possessory Conservator’s possession at the residence of Managing Conservator.

If a period of possession by Possessory Conservator begins at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed, Managing Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Possessory Conservator at the beginning of each such period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled. If the child is not in school, Possessory Conservator shall pick up the child at the residence of Managing Conservator at 6:00 p.m., and Managing Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Possessory Conservator at the residence of Managing Conservator at 6:00 p.m. under these circumstances.

2.         Surrender of Child by Possessory Conservator—Possessory Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Managing Conservator at the residence of Managing Conservator at the end of each period of possession.

3.         Return of Child by Possessory Conservator—Possessory Conservator is ORDERED to return the child to the residence of Managing Conservator at the end of each period of possession. However, it is ORDERED that, if Managing Conservator and Possessory Conservator live in the same county at the time of rendition of this order, Possessory Conservator’s county of residence remains the same after rendition of this order, and Managing Conservator’s county of residence changes, effective on the date of the change of residence by Managing Conservator, Possessory Conservator shall surrender the child to Managing Conservator at the residence of Possessory Conservator at the end of each period of possession.

If a period of possession by Possessory Conservator ends at the time the child’s school resumes, Possessory Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Managing Conservator at the end of each such period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled or, if the child is not in school, at the residence of Managing Conservator at [address].

4.         Surrender of Child by Possessory Conservator—Possessory Conservator is ORDERED to surrender the child to Managing Conservator, if the child is in Possessory Conservator’s possession or subject to Possessory Conservator’s control, at the beginning of each period of Managing Conservator’s exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Standard Possession Order.

5.         Return of Child by Managing Conservator—Managing Conservator is ORDERED to return the child to Possessory Conservator, if Possessory Conservator is entitled to possession of the child, at the end of each of Managing Conservator’s exclusive periods of possession, at the place designated in this Standard Possession Order.

6.         Personal Effects—Each conservator is ORDERED to return with the child the personal effects that the child brought at the beginning of the period of possession.

7.         Designation of Competent Adult—Each conservator may designate any competent adult to pick up and return the child, as applicable. IT IS ORDERED that a conservator or a designated competent adult be present when the child is picked up or returned.

8.         Inability to Exercise Possession—Each conservator is ORDERED to give notice to the person in possession of the child on each occasion that the conservator will be unable to exercise that conservator’s right of possession for any specified period.

9.         Written Notice—Written notice shall be deemed to have been timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is due.

10.        Notice to School and Managing Conservator—If Possessory Conservator’s time of possession of the child ends at the time school resumes and for any reason the child is not or will not be returned to school, Possessory Conservator shall immediately notify the school and Managing Conservator that the child will not be or has not been returned to school.

This concludes the Standard Possession Order.

Again, a Judge may under varied circumstances change any provision of a Standard Possession Order.

By Nacol Law Firm | Possession of Children
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