Getting divorced is generally an unpleasant process. Even if you and your spouse agree that there is no potential to save your marriage, it still hurts to end such an important relationship. Emotions run high, and you may find yourself behaving in uncharacteristic ways. You may feel strong resentment about how much child support was ordered.
Even if you make a solid salary, your child support could consume a substantial amount of your monthly disposable income. You may find yourself wondering if it is possible to adjust your child support amounts. Unless your income has changed or the support order didn't include considerations like medical insurance costs or other expenses you cover, it may be difficult to have your child support order adjusted.
Texas uses a formula to determine child support
Even if you aren't divorced yet, you will pay child support throughout the divorce process if your spouse has custody of the children. The courts base child support on a variety of factors, including any special needs of the children and the income of the parents. That means that the higher your income is, the more you get ordered to pay. You could end up feeling the pressure of child support despite being a high wage earner. After all, higher income families require more upkeep and investment to maintain the standard of living everyone is acclimated to.
You can easily check online to see if the amount of support ordered by the courts is appropriate, given your contributions and your income. If there is a substantial discrepancy, you can request a hearing for a modification with the courts. If your divorce is still underway, you can also provide income and payment information to the courts to ensure the final divorce decree and support order get based on accurate information.
There are real penalties if you fail to pay
If you are unable to pay the amount ordered, make sure you advise the courts as soon as possible. A change in your income could reduce your obligations. If you decide not to pay because you hope to gain custody or feel angry with your spouse, you could face legal penalties. For years, the courts have had the power to garnish your wages, seize your tax return or even arrest under contempt of court charges.
Under newer laws, Texas can also put your vehicle registration on hold if you don't pay past due child support within 180 days. That could mean you lose your ability to legally drive your vehicle, which could have a number of serious implications. Lack of reliable transportation could cost you your job. It could also prevent you from enjoying visitation time with your children.