Divorce is rarely a simple, easy process. Having children involved adds complications to the process. Custody is often one of the most hotly contested elements, and if you’re about to go through a divorce or it is on the horizon, you’ll need to know a few things about what to expect when it comes to child custody and support in Texas.
If You’re At Fault, It May Affect Visitation/Custody
If you are the at-fault party in the divorce and the court finds grounds, not only will the other parent be given custody, but you could find that your visitation is also affected. Note that this is not usual, as it requires circumstances that make visitation unsafe for the child in some way. During the divorce process, the court will investigate this area thoroughly with interviews, in-home inspections, and more in order to make an informed decision.
The Noncustodial Parent Pays Child Support
In almost all instances, the noncustodial parent will be assigned to pay child support. The amount will vary from case to case, though, and is calculated based on that parent’s income. In some cases, the custodial parent’s income will be considered as well, but this is generally only the case if that parent earns a significant amount more than the noncustodial parent. Child support is set without considering other financial obligations.
Failure to Pay Child Support Does Not Mean Lost Time with Your Child
Texas law states that a noncustodial parent cannot lose visitation time with their child simply because of being behind on child support payments. Any attempt to do this on the part of the custodial parent may be grounds for legal action.
Your Child Cannot Choose Whom They Live With
In some states, children of a certain age can choose whom they live with. In Texas, the child’s wishes are not taken into account unless they are 12 or older. Even then, they only have so much say. The ultimate decision will be made by the court.
You and Your Ex Cannot Modify the Support/Custody Order
While you and your spouse can agree to things prior to the divorce, once the decree has been issued and custody, visitation, and child support have been set, you cannot modify those. If you wish to change something, you will need to go before a judge again.
Are you facing a divorce with child custody or support in question? Contact us at the Blacknall Firm for help. Call us at 214-678-9111.