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Inheritances and Child Support

Dallas Attorneys Helping People Protect Their Interests in Child Support Proceedings

Under Texas law, both parents bear the responsibility of providing financial support for their children, regardless of their relationship status. Parents do not always possess equal means, though, and a parent may be less able to provide for their child than their co-parent. Thus, in cases in which parents share custody, one parent will frequently seek child support from the other. The courts consider many factors when determining an appropriate child support obligation, including each parent’s assets. It is important for anyone involved in a child support dispute to understand what property counts when making such assessments; for example, under Texas law, inheritance can most likely be used to pay child support. If you have questions about inheritances and child support, it is wise to speak to an attorney. The knowledgeable Dallas child support lawyers of McClure Law Group can offer you advice regarding your rights and help you seek the result that is best for you and your child.

Inheritances and Child Support Calculations

The Texas Family Code (the Code) sets forth guidelines for calculating appropriate child support obligations. Among other things, the guidelines provide a uniform method for calculating child support based on the obligor's net resources and the number of children for whom the support is being ordered.

The net resources include all income minus certain deductions such as state and federal income tax, Social Security taxes, union dues, and expenses for health insurance or medical support for the child. While the Code does not expressly state that inheritances are considered income for the purposes of determining child support, the Texas courts have explicitly held that inheritances fall under the umbrella of net resources. Specifically, the courts have stated that the terms in the Code defining net resources encompass various types of income, both periodic and nonrecurring. As such, the courts have ruled that the legislature did not intend to exclude nonrecurring payments or only include sums related to the obligor's capital or labor, and all monetary receipts not specifically excluded by the statute, including inheritances, must be considered resources.

The guidelines are presumed to be in the best interest of the child, but the court may deviate from them if there are reasons to do so, considering factors such as the age and needs of the child, the ability of the parents to contribute to the support, and any financial resources available for the child’s support. A court that does not adhere to the guidelines, however, must provide specific reasons for any deviation.

Inheritances and Child Support Arrears

Not only do inheritances qualify as resources for the purposes of child support calculations, but they can also be used to fulfill overdue child support obligations. In other words, following recent changes in the law, If a person who owes child support receives an inheritance, they are prohibited from transferring that inheritance to another person. Instead, the inherited property can be used to satisfy their overdue child support obligations. For instance, if a parent inherits $10,000 from their mother’s will, the parent cannot avoid paying her past due child support by transferring the inheritance to a friend or new spouse. Under the prior law, people who inherited property under a will could assign it to another individual regardless of their support obligations.

Meet With an Experienced Dallas Child Support Attorney

Parents have a duty to support their children financially, regardless of the source of their income. If you need assistance dealing with a disagreement over inheritances and child support, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Dallas child support attorneys of McClure Law Group have ample experience handling challenging family law disputes, and if we represent you, we will at advocate aggressively on your behalf. Our principal office is located in Dallas. We are also available to meet clients by appointment at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We frequently represent parents in child support lawsuits in Dallas, Garland, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Richardson, Frisco, and McKinney. We also help people with family law issues in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to set up a meeting.

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