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Impact of Child Custody on Child Support

Attorneys Helping Families in Dallas

When a couple with a child decides to part ways, in addition to contending with the emotional and financial ramifications of their split, they must determine how they will exercise their parental rights. In many instances, parties cannot reach a mutual agreement and will need to seek the courts' guidance to determine appropriate custody arrangements and support obligations. Understanding the impact of child custody on child support obligations is critical for anyone currently involved in a custody dispute. A lack of understanding as to how custody and support are related could result in the unintentional waiver of rights. If you are in the process of defining child custody and child support obligations with your co-parent, you should speak to a lawyer to discuss your case. The seasoned Dallas child support attorneys of McClure Law Group can advise you of your options and help you to pursue an outcome that benefits your child and allows you to fully exercise your parental rights.

The Impact of Child Custody on Child Support Obligations

In Texas, both parents must provide financially for their child, regardless of what custody arrangement is in place. Although child custody and child support disputes both impact parental rights and obligations, they are discrete issues, and a court will determine an appropriate custody arrangement irrespective of either parent’s ability to pay child support. Additionally, the law specifically provides that a court cannot issue an order that dictates the payment of child support dependent upon whether a managing conservator or the parent who has primary physical custody of the child, allows a possessory conservator, also known as the non-custodial parent, to have access to a child or possessory rights.

Typically, in support cases, the managing conservator will seek support from the possessory conservator. Possessory conservators are permitted to seek support, though, and may be awarded support if the court finds that it is appropriate. A court may also order a person whose parental rights have been terminated to pay child support.

Regardless of which parent seeks child support, a court will employ the Texas child support guidelines to determine an appropriate support obligation. The guidelines dictate that the support obligation should be calculated by determining the number of children who will be supported under the order. If the parent paying support has a duty to provide for children outside of the order, that will be considered as well. While the guidelines are presumed to result in an order that is in the best interest of the child a court may depart from the guidelines if it is warranted under the circumstances. In evaluating whether a deviation is appropriate, a court can consider additional factors, including the amount of time of access to and possession of a child.

Failure to Comply With Child Custody and Support Orders

Notably, the failure to pay child support is not sufficient grounds for one parent to deny the other parent visitation rights. Rather, the parent who is owed child support must file a petition seeking enforcement of the child support order or asking the court to hold the parent obligated to pay support in contempt of court. Similarly, one parent’s refusal to allow a co-parent to exercise custody rights does not grant the parent who must pay support the right to cease payments. Legal action must be taken in such instances as well, to seek either enforcement or modification of an existing order.

Meet With an Attorney in Dallas

In family law disputes between parents, the courts’ primary aim is to rule in the best interest of the children, which can involve weighing numerous factors relating to custody and support. If you are involved in a disagreement over parental rights and obligations, the lawyers of McClure Law Group can aid you in understanding the impact of child custody on child support. We can assist you in seeking a fair outcome that protects your interests and is beneficial to your child. Our main office is located in Dallas, and we can meet for consultations at our Collin County office in Plano. We regularly represent people in child custody and support cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Richardson, Garland, McKinney, Irving, and Frisco. We also help people with family law matters in cities throughout Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Collin, Grayson, and Tarrant Counties. You can reach us through our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to schedule a meeting.

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