There are a lot of parents in Houston who wish they could spend more time with their kids. Or, they’re worried that their ex isn’t really able to care for their children and they want to apply for full custody. The problem is, most people are afraid to file a motion for fear that their child support will go up.
When you first get divorced, your marital settlement agreement will outline your custody agreement. And, the attorneys will calculate child support based on your income at the time of the divorce. From time to time that State will increase your support for a cost of living increase.
Over the years, your ex may also file a motion asking for your child support to be increased. This could be due to any number of reasons, including:
- You’re making more money than before
- You have the children for less time than you did when support was calculated
- You are no longer suffering from a prior disability or medical condition
- You got a new job
- You weren’t working but have finally secured full-time or part-time employment
People expect this to happen. In fact, your Houston family law attorney probably warned you of this when you got divorced. However, what a lot of people don’t understand is that filing a motion for custody or a reduction in child support can actually result in a child support increase.
What is Your Child Support Based On?
Texas, like most other states, uses a very standard formula for calculating child support. It’s based on the income of both parents and the number of children you have. It also takes into the ages of your children and any special expenses you may pay.
For example, if one parent pays for all of the kids’ healthcare and daycare costs, that will be taken into account. Or, if one child is much older than another, it could affect your child support.
The courts don’t like to vary from this schedule. You and your ex may have agreed to a certain amount of child support when you separated or got divorced. However, if the court doesn’t think this amount is enough to support your children, they can order you to pay a different amount.
Why Would a Motion to Reduce Support Cause an Increase?
What a lot of people don’t realize is that any change in income can change your child support. Let’s say that you want to file a motion to reduce child support. You’re not making as much as you used to. Or, your ex is working for the first time in years.
When you file your motion, you have to include updated financial information. If you’re earning more than you used to, the court may order you to pay more child support, not less. This could happen for all sorts of reasons, including:
- Your spouse has only been working for a few months and the judge wants to make sure her job is stable before they modify child support
- You’re earning bonuses now but you weren’t when child support was first calculated
- You may be paying an amount you and your ex agreed on. When the court actually calculates child support using the guidelines, you could end up paying more.
Usually, your ex is not going to consent to a reduction in child support. This means that when you file your motion, their Houston family law attorney is going to file a motion in response. Their response may actually ask for an increase instead of a decrease. The court will look at both parents’ financial information and recalculate child support.
A Houston Family Law Attorney Can Let You Know if It’s Worth the Risk to File a Motion
If you’re not sure whether filing a motion to reduce support is a good idea, talk to your attorney. Your family lawyer in Houston will review your case and let you know what will happen if you file your motion.
While there is never a guarantee as to what a judge will do in court, your lawyer will have a good idea. Your attorney will be familiar with how the judge usually rules. They’ll also be able to look at the financials, run the guidelines and estimate what the new child support amounts will be.
Call Eddington & Worley today and schedule a consultation with a family law attorney in Houston. Let them review your motion before you file any papers with the court.