Can I Request Retroactive Child Support?
Retroactive child support payments may be something you are considering if a Family Court in Texas just ordered child support from another parent when it’s been long overdue. You may be wondering if it’s possible to receive payments that you would have received if the order has been made by the court earlier.
There are steps you ought to follow if you want to receive retroactive child support payments. There are also steps that the court will go through before it can release an order for retroactive child support payments to be made. First, the court must figure out whether it is appropriate to order such payments to be made. If the court finds that such payments are appropriate for your case, they also need to determine the time period covered by the retroactive child support payments that are to be collected. After that, the court will also have to find out how much the paying parent earns monthly for the years covered by the retroactive child support period.
There are also guideline levels of child support that can be found in the Texas Family Code that is bound to be useful. These will be applied to the income of the paying parent in order to determine the actual child support payments owed. There might also be certain circumstances involved in the case that might cause the court to deviate from the amount of support prescribed by the guidelines. The court will have to consider these circumstances if there are any.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order in Texas is an order that is issued by a judge to prevent continuing acts of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking. In Texas a protective order can be civil or criminal.
There are different types of protective orders but we will focus on those most commonly seen in family courts.
In instances of family violence, an Applicant can file a Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order and an Application for Protective Order. The Temporary Ex-Parte order is granted almost immediately with a pending court date and is effective for 14 days. If granted, a protective lasts for 2 years and in some instances can last up to 4 years.
Who can File?
- A prosecuting attorney
- An adult household or family member
- A person in a dating relationship
- The Department of Human and Regulatory Services
- An adult seeking to protect child against violent acts
What Evidence Do I Need to Show?
The applicant who is being abused or is protecting a child may not be able to show physical acts of past violence. To get a final protective order it is important to show supporting evidence that your claim of violence has happened and is likely to happen in the future. Example:
- Pictures of damage to property
- Police Reports or medical reports
- Videos or text messages documenting abuse
- Witnesses who have witnessed past incidents of abuse
- Showing a pattern of past/prior abusive history
WHO SHOULD PAY FOR “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” COSTS?
When parents in Texas are going through divorces, they may overlook some potential issues concerning who will be responsible for paying for their children’s back-to-school supplies, clothing and other related expenses. The financial responsibility of paying for these items may depend on the parenting and custody arrangements that the parents have.
Buying all of the items for going back to school can be expensive, and the costs may lead to disputes between the parents. Generally, if one parent has primary custody and the other pays child support, the custodial parent should be responsible for paying for these costs. Child support should include enough money to pay for the ordinary costs of raising the children, including the back-to-school items.
Shared parenting, in which the children spend equal amounts of time with both parents, has become more common. In this type of custody arrangement, both parents should be responsible for paying a portion of the back-to-school expenses rather than one shouldering all of the burdens. Parents might meet and discuss the expenses in order to work out an agreement. In order to prevent disputes in the future, writing detailed parenting plans may prevent small disputes from turning into major arguments.
When parents are divorcing, crafting detailed parenting plans is vital. Parents who divorce should remember that they will need to work together for the benefit of their children.
Mediation is Crucial in a Texas Divorce
When couples in Texas divorce, in most counties they have to go through the mediation process first. This can actually be a good thing. It gives couples a chance to resolve their divorce legal issues privately and in a quicker manner than litigation would take. It also lets them keep control over the outcome of their case because mediation may resolve their divorce legal issues in a way that is agreeable to both of them.
Divorce can be an emotionally trying time, and mediation can be one way for couples to part ways in a less traumatic manner. This may especially be true if there are children involved, as any child custody decisions should meet the child’s best interests.
Litigation, however, is sometimes necessary. That being said, judges are neutral decision makers. They can issue decisions on many divorce legal issues, such as child custody, child support, alimony and property division. However, when it comes to litigation, the parties must live with the judge’s decisions, whether they agree with them or not. Therefore, if mediation fails, it is important that each party’s interests are represented in court.
Can I Get a U.S. Passport if I Owe Child Support?
If you are like millions of Americans, you will have the need or desire to travel abroad. Perhaps you will want to go overseas for business, to visit family, or to enjoy a second honeymoon with your new husband or wife. However, if you owe back child support, you may not be able to obtain a U.S. passport until you pay off your child support arrears. In other words, you may not be able to travel outside the United States until you resolve your outstanding, overdue child support obligation.
How much child support does someone have to owe before he or she will be denied a U.S. passport? According to the U.S. Department of State, “If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, you are not eligible to receive a U.S. passport.”
WHAT I NEED TO DO TO REINSTATE MY PASSORT
If you wish to receive a U.S. passport, you will need to pay your child support arrears. In order to do this, you must contact the applicable state child support enforcement agency and arrange to pay your child support arrearage. Once this is done, the following will occur:
- The child support agency will report your payment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), informing the HHS that you’ve entered into an acceptable payment arrangement.
- The HHS will then remove your name from its list and it will report this update to the Department of State.
- The Department of State will verify with HHS that it removed your name from its list.
- The Department of State will process your application.
If you currently owe child support arrears, be aware that there can be negative consequences, such as driver’s license suspension, your tax refund can be intercepted, you can face contempt of court allegations, and of course – you can be denied a passport.
How is Child Support Calculated in Texas?
In the state of Texas, child support is paid by the obligor to the obligee. In nearly all cases, the obligee is the parent with whom the child primarily resides. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare.
Child custody payments are calculated as a percentage of the obligor’s monthly income. If this income exceeds $8,550, nothing above that amount is considered. This means that an obligor with one child and a monthly income in excess of $8,550 will only be required to pay $1,710. The amount will, however, increase with each additional child.
Child support percentages in Texas are as follows:
• 1 child — 20% of net resources
• 2 children — 25% of net resources
• 3 children — 30% of net resources
• 4 children — 35% of net resources
• 5+ children — 40% of net resources
The Attorney General of Texas has a child support calculator outline that can be used to find the exact amount that you, as an obligor, can expect to pay monthly until the child receiving support turns 18 or graduates from high school. In cases with multiple children, support amounts are reduced as each child meets one of those benchmarks.