When you're facing a divorce, asset division and child custody are often the most contentious issues. For many couples, particularly those with higher assets, it can be difficult to reach mutually beneficial agreements about custody, child support and asset division.
In these cases, the help of an experienced Texas divorce attorney is important to protect your interests during child custody disagreements, as well as during the process of dividing assets. Even if you and your former spouse agree to mediation, having an attorney who's fighting for you can make all the difference.
The more money you make, the more you could potentially end up paying in child support. If you have a special needs child, the amount could be higher still. You need to work with an attorney who understands how Texas determines child support amounts. If your former spouse has temporary custody during the divorce proceedings, you may be frustrated with your child support, particularly if you are being denied visitation or having your visits canceled or shortened. While the office of child support won't enforce your visitation rights, they can take steps to enforce the child support order.
Child support non-payment can impact your custody case
You are legally obligated to pay child support once it is ordered by the courts. Failing to do so could cause issues for your custody case and even your financial future. The courts could garish your paychecks, seize your tax return or even have you jailed if you refuse to pay child support as ordered. Even worse, it can hurt your chances of winning shared or total custody of your children. The courts could view your non-payment as an indication that you can't or won't provide for your children. Paying on time sends the opposite message, and shows that you put your children's needs first.
In Texas, it can be difficult to have custody arrangements changed in a post-divorce modification. That's why it is so important that you take every possible step to secure a positive outcome during initial divorce proceedings. Your lawyer can advise you on the best steps to take. If you are being denied visitation, documenting this could help your case for custody, as it shows that your former spouse is willing to violate your court-ordered right to visitation and parenting time. So long as you keep your child support current, the actions of your former spouse can be used in your custody case.
Fight for the outcome you desire
Whether you're hoping for full or shared custody of your children, retaining the services of an experienced Texas family law and divorce attorney can help you. If you believe child support should be adjusted, your legal advocate will help with this too.