At Capps Law Firm, PLLC, we assist clients in Austin and throughout Texas with a wide range of family law matters, including modifications and enforcement of existing court orders. We provide prompt, personalized attention with:
- Establishing child support
- Modifying court orders — As the saying goes, change is the only constant. If you lose your job, you may need to modify the child support orders. If you want to relocate to a different state with your children, you will need to modify the child custody or visitation orders. No matter your situation, we can advise you about how to proceed.
- Enforcing court orders — If your ex-spouse is refusing to follow the property division agreement or abide by the set visitation schedule, for instance, we can provide the legal advocacy you need.
“Kelly and the entire staff at Capps Law Firm, PLLC, put heart and soul into resolving my divorce. The case had drawn out several years and become extremely complicated before Kelly took over. I wasn’t even able to visit my two sons in another state, but thanks to her aggressive advocacy my children are back in Austin, thriving, and I have equal custody and possession.”
—David Campbell, Austin, Texas
Thinking Ahead To Save You Time, Trouble and Expense
For some attorneys, modifications are the norm. They expect their clients will repeatedly go back to court. At Capps Law Firm, PLLC, we don’t believe you should require the services of your lawyer forever, returning to court to “fix” issues that should have been addressed at the beginning. The foresight we have gained from our decades of experience allows us to be proactive and detailed at the outset — which can save you time, money and frustration down the road.
Texas Child Support – things you should know
As an Austin, Texas family law attorney, I see child support issues come up nearly all the time, whether in divorce cases, child custody cases, child support enforcement cases, child support modification cases, paternity cases, and even in adoption/termination cases.
Most folks know that Texas applies percentage guidelines to calculate child support. In a nutshell, Texas figures out your NET income (after taxes, costs for health insurance, and a few other things), then multiplies that figure by a percentage which has been statutorily “presumed” to be in the best interest of the child.
What many people don’t understand are the factors which a judge can consider in reducing or increasing the presumptive amount of child support. The Texas Family Code lists a whole bunch of those factors. Chief among those is the costs the non-custodial parent may be paying in order to exercise visitation. For example, it isn’t uncommon for a custodial parent to move out of state shortly after a divorce (unless there is a geographical restriction–but that’s a different subject). In doing so, the custodial parent is engaging in conduct which will increase the non-custodial parent’s cost of exercising visitation, even if the parties split the costs.
Since the Texas Family Code also provides that continuing and frequent contact between the non-custodial parent and the child is in the best interest of the child, the Court will often reduce child support to account for those increased costs. The Court can also simply require the custodial parent to pay 100% of the travel costs, which I think is a much better idea. That way, the actual costs of visitation are born by the custodial parent, rather than the hypothetical costs. For instance, reducing child support isn’t really fair to the custodial parent if the non-custodial parent doesn’t in fact exercise any of his or her visitation.
The previous examples assumed the custodial parent moved first, thereby being the cause of the increased cost of visitation. What about if the parents are already living in different states at the time of the suit? Or if the non-custodial parent moves to get a better job? The Court can still reduce child support to account for the increased cost of visitation if the Court is convinced that it will help the non-custodial parent be able to visit his child.
What about getting more child support than what’s called for by the percentage guidelines? That’s also a possibility under the Texas Family Code. Occasionally, a child is considered a “special needs” child, requiring an extraordinary amount of financial support (uninsured medical expenses, special education, etc.). In such cases, the Court will look at the parents’ respective ability to pay those costs, may increase the statutory amount of child support to account for the child’s needs.
Schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer and learn more about child support modifications, child custody modifications or the enforcement of orders in Texas. Simply call Capps Law Firm, PLLC, at 512-410-2453 or email our Austin office today.