Best Child Support Attorney in Southlake, TX
Texas Child Support Attorneys
Setzer Law Firm has been providing legal services to parents dealing with child support for years. If you’re in Southlake or anywhere throughout the Dallas/Fort area and your child support agreement isn’t right, we can help. We can take you through any legal process relating to child support, including filing for child support, modifying child support, and enforcing payments. If any of these issues relate to you, then Setzer Law Firm is a great place to get started. Contact us today to learn more.
How to File for Child Support
If your child support situation was not established in a divorce, you will need to file separately. In Texas, there are two ways to file. The first is to fill out the online form. The second is to request a physical form and return it by mail. You can find the online application at the Texas attorney general website, and you can get the physical form from this website or by calling (800) 252-8014. The application will allow you to present your case for child support to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). You will need to provide state identification as well as information about you, the other parent, and the child or children in question.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Child support is determined on a case-by-case basis, but the final number will depend on the paying parent’s income and the needs of the child. In general, the payments will follow state guidelines. For the first child, 20% of the paying parent’s net income will go to child support. That amount will go up by 5% for each additional child.
Keep in mind that this is a baseline, not a final ruling. The Texas state website has a child support calculator that can help you estimate what the ruling will be, but it cannot take into account specific exceptions that might exist in your case.
Child Support Enforcement
If you are owed child support that isn’t being paid, you do have resources available to help you. In Texas, child support enforcement is handled through the Office of the Attorney General. Before you go that route, however, there are a few other options you can try.
First, you can try talking with the other parent. Missed payments are sometimes an exception rather than the norm, but if the problem is recurring or talking with the other parent is not a viable option, you can file a child support enforcement case. At this stage, it helps to have help from an attorney. You can file directly through the Office of the Attorney General, or you can file the case on your own. Each has its advantages, and it is helpful to explore your options to see which is best for your case.
Ultimately, child support will be enforced by the state. The state can suspend licenses, involve creditors, and even file a lien on property owned by the other parent.
How to Get a Child Support Modification
Child support is set when a divorce is settled, but that agreement won’t always be appropriate for an indefinite period of time. Lives and situations change, and it’s perfectly common to need changes in the child support agreement to reflect that. Whether you need to pay less child support or to get more child support from the other parent, a modification is the solution.
You can formally request a review of your case through the Texas government. Before you do, you need to be sure your case qualifies for a modification review. There are three conditions, and meeting any is sufficient:
- The order is more than three years old.
- Monthly child support is more than 20% or $100 a month different from what it should be according to the state guidelines
- A “material and substantial change” has occurred since the arrangements were made.
The third can be vague, but it largely refers to major job changes, moving, or significant family changes.
Once you submit your modification forms, the case will go under review. The Office of the Attorney General will look over everything and inform you of their decision. In some cases, this can take a long time.
One of the best ways to expedite a modification is to reach an agreement with the other parent beforehand. As long as the arrangement is legal, reasonable, and mutual, it will usually pass through the OAG with few to no problems.
Contact Our Dallas–Fort Worth Child Support Lawyers
We want to help. Contact Setzer Law Firm today. You’ll get professional legal counsel from attorneys in the Southlake area. You can get a child support arrangement that is best for you and your child. As soon as you get our team on the case, you’ll be on your way to a better situation all around.