As a Dallas family lawyer, I have come across many cases where parents need to split up their children. While siblings are often kept together, sometimes it’s in the children’s best interest to live separately. In these cases, each parent may be obligated to pay child support to the other.

A Hypothetical Example

For example, let’s say a couple with four children gets divorced, and the mother has the exclusive right to choose the primary residence of the children within a certain geographic area. The father is ordered to pay $1,400 per month in child support, which is later modified to $2,992.50 per month.

Years later, the father seeks modification and asks for the exclusive right to choose the primary residence of the oldest child and child support from the mother for that child. After reaching a mediation agreement, they agree to custody, and the court determines child support. The court then names the parents joint managing conservators, with the father having the exclusive right to choose the oldest child’s primary residence, while the mother retains that right for the other children.

The court orders the father to pay $2,341 per month for the three youngest children, and the mother to pay $167.64 per month for the oldest child.

What Does “Multiple Households” Mean?

The Texas Family Code states that when there are multiple households due child support, the obligor’s child support must be added to their net resources. The issue is what “multiple households” mean. In this case, the court would likely find that it refers to households where there are children not before the court and whom the obligor has a duty to support.

Since in the example neither parent has children who are not before the court, they are not a “multiple household.” Also in the example the mother was not an “obligor” under any prior order, so the court would likely determine that considering the child support the mother received from the father when calculating her net resources would be unfair and contrary to the guidelines’ purpose.

Why You Need a Family Lawyer

This case highlights the importance of having a family lawyer who can help you understand the nuances of the Texas Family Code. The law can be complex, and even seemingly straightforward cases can have unexpected twists and turns. By working with an experienced family lawyer, you can ensure that your case is handled effectively and that your rights are protected.

If you’re facing a child support case in Texas, I encourage you to reach out to the team at the Blacknall Firm for representation. Our experienced family lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your case is handled effectively. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.