The process of establishing a child support arrangement can be emotionally exhausting, which is why it is important to partner with a child support lawyer. At The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt, serving the communities of Southlake, Westover Hills, and Arlington, TX, our team can break down the purpose of child support to help you understand the importance of obtaining a child support order. When you choose our law office, one of our child support attorneys will walk you through the process and discuss how the court determines an order to pay. Our principal child support lawyer, Donna J. Smiedt, is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney in the state of Texas and will work closely with you to ensure the best interests of your child are put first.
When a family faces a separation, determining child custody and child support payments can oftentimes result in challenging circumstances.
Our attorneys can help a parent with child custody determine the amount of child support owed and secure payments following a separation.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can provide your child with the foundation they need to build towards the future they deserve...
The Process of Determining Child Support
Following a divorce or separation in Arlington, Southlake, Westover Hills, or other areas throughout TX, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent with custody. These payments are intended to cover any number of expenses for your children's needs. Texas family law determines the amount of these payments based on the specific facts of your case. Our lawyers can provide you with guidelines that are used as a starting point so that you can have a general understanding of what to expect.
In certain instances, these guidelines may be deviated from in order to reach the proper amount of support. If you have such a case, our Arlington, TX, child support attorneys can assist you in determining proper payments. Regardless of the amount, child support orders for our clients are meant to benefit the wellbeing of the children involved.
Our law office is led by Texas Board of Legal Specialization Board Certified Family Law Attorney, Donna J. Smiedt. When it comes to child support lawyers in Arlington, Southlake, and Westover Hills, you will be hard-pressed to find a team of attorneys more dedicated to their clients than those at The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt. Our lawyers can help determine a child support amount that is feasible for the paying parent while serving the child's best interests.
Regardless of your needs, our attorneys are here for you, whether establishing child support after a divorce or separation, enforcement of child support payments, or a child support modification. Our compassionate child support lawyers can provide the counsel you need when you need it most.
To schedule an appointment with one of our Arlington, TX, attorneys, contact us online or call:
“Donna and her team are amazing to work with. I felt she knew exactly what I was going through and very compassionate!”
When is Child Support Granted?
Sometimes a couple cannot work out their differences and the relationship ends in divorce. In Texas, most cases see one parent granted child custody. In such cases, the non-custodial parent will have to pay child support. The needs of the children and the financial ability of the parents to pay are taken into consideration when support is ordered by a Texas court during a divorce. To determine payments, the court will first reference the child support guidelines and then review any extenuating circumstances. Parents should expect to provide financial information to the court for review during this process. The final order must be followed, regardless of whether the custodial parent allows visitation.
When parents decide to separate, issues regarding custody and support must still be made. The same factors that come into play during divorce are also reviewed when parents separate in Texas, but the type of lawsuit is different. It is possible to file an action for child support without also filing for divorce. The standard remains the same in these matters as what parties would face in a divorce. The attorneys at our Arlington, TX, law office can provide the same level of assistance during a separation as we do in a divorce.
If you are considering an action to establish paternity, part of that case should include a request for child support. Once the court determines parentage, it is appropriate to seek an award of child support. It is important to remember that a paternity action in Texas is about more than just obtaining an award of child support. Establishing paternity also gives the father and child a chance to build a relationship and form an emotional bond that can last a lifetime. Our Arlington, TX, lawyers gladly help fathers who have established paternity build these relationships.
The Purpose of Child Support
In Texas, child support payments are intended to be used only for the benefit and care of your child. The parent receiving support is permitted to make the decision as to what the payments cover. Keeping the payments separate from other assets is not a requirement for receiving child support. A few examples of what child support payments can be used for include:
Medical and Healthcare Needs
Your child's health is of the utmost importance. Expenses required to help them stay healthy such doctor office visits, co-pays, prescriptions medication costs, the employee portion of health insurance provided by an employer, or any other cost associated with the healthcare and medical needs of the child all qualify for child support funds.
The importance of a good education cannot be understated. A high-quality education can make all the difference in your child's future. Costs that may reflect education expenses such as tuition costs, expenses for tutors, or test preparation courses can all pay dividends towards the long-term wellbeing of your child as they make their way through the education system.
When it comes to higher education, extracurricular activities can make a significant contribution towards being granted entry into a top-tier school. To provide your child with a diverse resume of extracurricular activities, relevant expenses such as registration fees for camps, sports, music lessons, entry fees for dance competitions, and the cost of equipment can assist in your child's success.
It may seem obvious, but basic necessities are covered by child support as well. Mortgage payments, rent, electrical and utility bills, clothing, transportation costs, and other expenses related to maintaining a healthy home environment are fundamental to allow your child to thrive.
“Donna is the most caring, compassionate and qualified attorney I’ve ever met. She always looks out for her clients and goes the extra mile. I can’t recommend her highly enough. Thank you for everything.”
What if I Have Stopped Receiving Child Support Payments?
You may find yourself in a situation where you need an attorney to involve the court in order to enforce a support order. If payments are not being made, the state of Texas has a process to ensure you receive the payments your child is entitled to. Our Arlington, TX, attorneys can help you work through this process.
Can I Withhold Payments If I Am Being Denied Visitation Rights?
Oftentimes, our lawyers encounter a parent withholding payments when their co-parent denies contact with their child. Visitation and support do not go hand in hand. A parent may have justification to refuse support payments for being denied visitation, but to do so on your own is against Texas state law. The correct approach is to continue making payments and file a contempt action with the court. A parent can also refuse visitation when payments are not made, but again, these changes must be made through the proper legal channels.
If you are facing one of these conflicts, it is in both the interest of you and your child to contact our Arlington, TX, lawyers. We will listen to your situation and help you work through the legal process.
Child custody and child support go hand in hand. If you are not receiving adequate support from your co-parent, the team of attorneys at The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt strives to provide your child with the resources necessary to live a full and happy life. The team of attorneys at our law office understands that any number of issues can arise when it comes to family law matters. Our compassionate attorneys will do whatever we can to help reduce the stress and anxiety that can accompany a conflict with your co-parent. To schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers in Arlington, TX, contact us online or call:
“We hired Donna Smiedt to handle a very contentious child custody case in 2010. From the day we signed on to have Donna represent us we have received excellent representation and results. Donna has represented us well and listened to all of our needs and requests. Donna was professional and reassured us that our case would be taken care of...”
What If My Child Support Payments Are Not Being Used Properly?
The line can easily become blurred when determining if a parent has used support payments as intended. There is a lot of discretion given to the parent receiving the payments, which can make it difficult for the non-custodial parent to rest assured the payments are being used for a proper purpose. The test for what is considered proper will center on whether your child benefited from the funds, and if your child’s needs are being met.
If there is a disagreement or question as to whether support payments are being misused, the payor is not allowed to simply stop paying, rather a motion with the court must be filed and evidence of the alleged abuse presented. If this is the case, our Arlington, TX, child support lawyers can assist the paying parent with this process.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt is the premier destination for clients who need representation during a divorce, adoption, or other family law matters. Donna J. Smiedt has been in practice since 1986 and is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
To speak to an attorney at our award-winning law firm, request a consultation online or call us at: