Going through a divorce and raising a child while divorced from their other parent can be, well, difficult. Child support is a good way to ensure both parents, no matter how strained their relationship with each other might be, have enough financial support to care for the child. However, when one repeatedly doesn’t pay or other serious issues concerning child support arise, child support litigation can help. The Quiñonez Law Firm can help.
Child Support: The Basics
In Texas, one parent is typically awarded full custody of the child(ren) and the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support for each child until he or she turns 18 or graduates high school. The support amount is usually determined by income levels for each parent. In Texas, the amount is typically 20 percent of the non-custodial parent’s monthly income and resources. A pay schedule is set up and the non-custodial parent must make the payments every month.
When to Use Child Support Litigation
When it comes to modifying, handling, and solving issues with child support in a family court, you have two options: mediation and litigation. Mediation is typically a quicker and more affordable route to take when making modifications to the child support that both parties agree on. When the matter is more pressing and one parent may contest against the other, child support litigation is typically necessary. This is because, in a child support litigation, the issue is taken to family court where a judge makes a final decision—not the parents involved. When it’s an issue the parents can resolve themselves, negotiation or mediation can be used.
The Child Support Litigation Process
Litigation cases are necessary when the parents can’t come to an agreement and when you have a strict timeline. The process goes a little like this:
- The process begins with one party writing a complaint and summons for the other party addressing the issues that need to be resolved. The summons is later served to the other party. This officially starts the litigation process. One thing to note is that once this is done, a motion for temporary relief is usually filed, which may adjust the rights of each parent for a certain amount of time. This is because the actual trial may take years to happen. During the temporary hearing, each side has the opportunity to argue their case, using affidavits and testimonies from witness statements to influence the decision to be made.
- Once the hearing is over, each party will engage in discovery. During the discovery stage, each party essentially learns more about each other to ramp up their defense and to better understand where the other party is coming from.
- Usually, after this stage, many people come to an agreement, getting approval for that agreement and alleviating the need to take the issue to court and resolve it there. If they don’t, the issue will be taken to trial where each side will again have the opportunity to present their case, have eyewitnesses testify in their favor, and contest the other’s argument. From there, the judge will decide the newly instated rights and obligations of each parent—including child support obligation.
Child Support Litigation Lawyer in El Paso
Child support litigation can be a messy battle, but when it comes down to it, it can be necessary. If you need a lawyer to represent you, the Quiñonez Law Firm can help. Call us today to learn more!