Did you know that the Attorney General of Texas will help establish child support? This is a great service for those who cannot afford an attorney and need to get child support established. Many times this service is sufficient, however, it is not ideal in all situations. This blog is going to address those situations.
When child support is being established you need to bring documents supporting your income to that initial child support meeting. These documents can be paycheck stubs, tax returns, W-2’s, 1099’s, or any other documents that would support your current pay. Without this proof of income, the Attorney General will look at the Texas Workforce Commission records to determine your pay. Unless you are getting paid in cash under the table these records are significantly higher than the income that my clients actually earn.
Your income is important to calculating child support because it is based on a percentage of your income that determines your child support. For example, generally for one child it is 20% of your income, two children 25% of your income, etc.
When you go to the child support meeting it is important prove how many children you have. If you have other children you support, then the percentage you owe for child support will be lower for this case. Proof can include prior child support orders, birth certificates, adjudication of paternity, etc.
Think you are only establishing child support when they go through the Attorney General of Texas? Nope, you are also establishing custody/conservatorship. This can be problematic when the parties are doing a varied possession schedule. Perhaps they are doing a week on week off possession. Maybe they are doing every weekend to one parent and weekdays to the other. Maybe the are designating 2 days a week to each parent and then alternating weekends.
In these situations, the Attorney General orders do not adequately provide for these possession schedules. They do not consider the amount of time the parents will have with the child when calculating child support. They regularly calculate full child support regardless of possession.
Further, often times these Orders are written so generically it is nearly impossible to gain full enforcement options available in the future.