Do You Need a Lawyer to File For Child Support in Houston, TX?
If you’re a high-income earner, do you need a lawyer to file for child support in Houston, TX? Although it is not necessary to have a lawyer present to file for child support, hiring an attorney can help you navigate the complexities that come with these types of cases — especially if you are also going through a divorce or child custody dispute.
In this article, the experienced child support lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta are here to walk you through commonly asked questions regarding child support for high-income earners and explain why you should hire a lawyer for your case.
How can a lawyer help with child support?
Having a good family law attorney in Houston on your side throughout the process can help defend your parental rights and work to secure the best outcomes for your children. An attorney can help with everything from reviewing legal documents and negotiations, to ensuring that the calculated amount of child support fairly reflects your role as a parent and will properly provide for your child. Attorneys can also assist with other complex child custody matters including:
- Walking you through each stage of the legal process
- Explaining the laws around child support
- Evaluating the details of your case
- Helping you calculate projected child support payments
- Defending your rights in court
- Negotiating for a fair deal on your behalf
When it comes to child support cases, having a good lawyer can ensure that all aspects of your financial situation and your child’s best interests are being considered. This is especially important if your income falls outside of the state guideline’s anticipated income levels and support will need to be determined in court.
A family attorney can also be beneficial if you are looking to modify your support order as they can help you understand what constitutes a change and complete the necessary documents to request a modification.
Continue reading: What makes a good family lawyer?
What do I need to apply for child support?
If you’re thinking of applying for child support in Houston, TX, it’s important to know what factors make up child support payments. Child support payments are calculated based on your income, how many children are receiving support, the need of those children, debts, amount of parenting time, the receiving parent’s income and resources, alimony payments, and other sources of cash flow, if applicable. Once you have that figured out, you can begin the filing process.
The state has pre-set guidelines for determining support amounts but in some cases, one or both of the parties make more than the amounts set by the guidelines. In these high-income child support cases, the court will take lifestyle, annual expenses of the child(ren), as well as the other party’s income into consideration.
How do I file a petition for child support?
Before applying for child support, you’ll want to make sure you have an experienced family lawyer on your side. They can help make sure you don’t miss any key parts as the process can already be lengthy and any mistakes made can slow down the process even more.
Your attorney will help you file the proper application paperwork with the Texas Attorney General’s Office – Child Support Division and, if it comes down to it, they can defend your parental and financial rights if you decide that the child support amount seems unfair.
To file, you’ll need to know your:
- Social security number
- Driver’s License number
- Phone number
- Employment history
- Attorney information
Do you have to go to court for child support in Texas?
Child support is determined by the Harris County child support court but does not require your appearance. You can apply for child support online or in person. Therefore, it is not necessary to go to court for child support unless you have not been paying, you would like to modify your support payments, or you are in the midst of a divorce in Texas and have been unable to amicably come to an agreement with the other parent. In all of these cases, having legal representation can help you come to an agreement that is fair and accurate.
That said, if you disagree with the amount of support determined and have just cause to argue against its fairness, (i.e. the amount of support is far more than the annual cost of providing for the children) you and your lawyer will need to file a motion to appeal the ruling. Keep in mind that this can not be done simply because you think it is unfair.
Need a Lawyer for Child Support in Houston, TX? Grimes & Fertitta is Here For You.
While hiring a lawyer for your high-income child support case may seem unnecessary, doing so can end up saving you time and money in the long run. Not to mention, having an experienced attorney on your side could have a major impact on the outcome of your support case.
A well-versed and compassionate family attorney will assist you in correctly completing all necessary paperwork while negotiating with the other parent’s lawyer for a fair support amount. In fact, most child support cases go hand-in-hand with child custody cases, meaning your attorney can also double as your child custody lawyer.
Whether you are a high-earner looking to petition for child support payments or need to modify a child support agreement, the child support lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta can protect your rights in child support cases, help you fight for custody rights, and stand by your side through a stressful process.
Call Grimes & Fertitta today at 713-489-2204 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.
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