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Thread: Texas Child Support - Children in different households

  1. #1
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    Texas Child Support - Children in different households

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    Just curious if anyone had any insight as to how Texas works when it comes to divorced parents each having custodial rights over different children. My situation is such that my ex and I have 5 children together. She has primary custody of 4 of the children and I have primary custody of 1. I pay her child support based on a chart in Texas that takes into consideration how many children are before the court, and then reduces the percentage based on how many children the obligor has a duty to support in their household (no matter who the mother/father may be). So in my case I would pay child support for 4 children and get credit for 1 child in my household.

    According to the Attorney Generals Child Support office the flip case is not applied here. She would not have to pay me child support for the 1 child in my custody taking into consideration the 4 in her household.

    My divorce attorney has advised me that the flip case should apply. Unfortunately I cannot afford an attorney to take this case to court. I feel like my daughter (the child in my custody) is getting a short stick here. There is no determination of my ex's salary at all. I pay child support based on my salary only and my child support to my ex would be the same even if my daughter were with another person.

    If anyone has any insight into this type of situation please let me know. It doesn't pass the common sense test to me, but then again that doesn't mean it's not right. The family code doesn't directly address this type of situation but the way I read it, there should be two cases involved. One case where my daughter is before the court and another where the other 4 children are before the court.

    Thanks!!!
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntyowzer View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    Just curious if anyone had any insight as to how Texas works when it comes to divorced parents each having custodial rights over different children. My situation is such that my ex and I have 5 children together. She has primary custody of 4 of the children and I have primary custody of 1. I pay her child support based on a chart in Texas that takes into consideration how many children are before the court, and then reduces the percentage based on how many children the obligor has a duty to support in their household (no matter who the mother/father may be). So in my case I would pay child support for 4 children and get credit for 1 child in my household.

    According to the Attorney Generals Child Support office the flip case is not applied here. She would not have to pay me child support for the 1 child in my custody taking into consideration the 4 in her household.

    My divorce attorney has advised me that the flip case should apply. Unfortunately I cannot afford an attorney to take this case to court. I feel like my daughter (the child in my custody) is getting a short stick here. There is no determination of my ex's salary at all. I pay child support based on my salary only and my child support to my ex would be the same even if my daughter were with another person.

    If anyone has any insight into this type of situation please let me know. It doesn't pass the common sense test to me, but then again that doesn't mean it's not right. The family code doesn't directly address this type of situation but the way I read it, there should be two cases involved. One case where my daughter is before the court and another where the other 4 children are before the court.

    Thanks!!!

    What are you trying to accomplish?
  3. #3
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntyowzer View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    Just curious if anyone had any insight as to how Texas works when it comes to divorced parents each having custodial rights over different children. My situation is such that my ex and I have 5 children together. She has primary custody of 4 of the children and I have primary custody of 1. I pay her child support based on a chart in Texas that takes into consideration how many children are before the court, and then reduces the percentage based on how many children the obligor has a duty to support in their household (no matter who the mother/father may be). So in my case I would pay child support for 4 children and get credit for 1 child in my household.

    According to the Attorney Generals Child Support office the flip case is not applied here. She would not have to pay me child support for the 1 child in my custody taking into consideration the 4 in her household.

    My divorce attorney has advised me that the flip case should apply. Unfortunately I cannot afford an attorney to take this case to court. I feel like my daughter (the child in my custody) is getting a short stick here. There is no determination of my ex's salary at all. I pay child support based on my salary only and my child support to my ex would be the same even if my daughter were with another person.

    If anyone has any insight into this type of situation please let me know. It doesn't pass the common sense test to me, but then again that doesn't mean it's not right. The family code doesn't directly address this type of situation but the way I read it, there should be two cases involved. One case where my daughter is before the court and another where the other 4 children are before the court.

    Thanks!!!
    In Texas, only the NCP's income is considered in setting child support. It's a flat percentage rate, based on the number of children.

    Sec. 154.123. ADDITIONAL FACTORS FOR COURT TO CONSIDER. (a) The court may order periodic child support payments in an amount other than that established by the guidelines if the evidence rebuts the presumption that application of the guidelines is in the best interest of the child and justifies a variance from the guidelines.

    (b) In determining whether application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances, the court shall consider evidence of all relevant factors, including:


    (1) the age and needs of the child;

    (2) the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child;

    (3) any financial resources available for the support of the child;

    (4) the amount of time of possession of and access to a child;

    (5) the amount of the obligee's net resources, including the earning potential of the obligee if the actual income of the obligee is significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or decrease in the income of the obligee or income that may be attributed to the property and assets of the obligee;

    (6) child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment;

    (7) whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child;

    (8) the amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and currently being paid or received by a party;

    (9) the expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school;

    (10) whether the obligor or obligee has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity;

    (11) the amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties;

    (12) provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses;

    (13) special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child;

    (14) the cost of travel in order to exercise possession of and access to a child;

    (15) positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments;

    (16) debts or debt service assumed by either party; and

    (17) any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.

    Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.154.htm

    https://www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/index.shtml

    How old is the child that is living with you?
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I wonder if the credit that you are getting for the child in your household represents what she would be paying if that were the only child involved. That's what would make sense here, rather then both of you sending checks every month.
  5. #5
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I wonder if the credit that you are getting for the child in your household represents what she would be paying if that were the only child involved. That's what would make sense here, rather then both of you sending checks every month.
    Texas doesn't HAVE to allow a deviation for the child that still lives with the "NCP", but since in this case it WAS allowed, I would assume the same as you. The deviation is to take into account the needs of the child remaining with the paying parent.

    And yes, OP, Texas bases child support strictly upon the income of the paying parent, regardless of the income of the receiving parent. Fair or not, that's how it is.
  6. #6
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    I would like for my daughter to get the proper child support if she is owed it. That is what I'm trying to accomplish.

    My ex is the CP for 4 children and NCP for 1 child. I am the CP for 1 child and NCP for 4 children.

    The child living with me is 16.

    According to the chart in the family code I pay my ex 32.2% of my salary. That is paying for 4 children with one child in my household. I do not dispute this and it is correct. If I were only paying on 4 children it would be 35%. So my daughter gets the benefit of 2.8%? Does this make sense in any way?

    If my ex were paying me child support for only one child as a NCP it would be 20%. Now taking into consideration the 4 children in her household it would go down to 13.6%. Why is this not the case?

    Why aren't things such that we take the difference between 32.2% of my salary and 13.6% of hers and whoever has the biggest number pays the other?

    As of now I pay 32.2% to her and that's that.

    My ex sees her obligation to our daughter that I am CP for as the 2.8% decrease of what I pay her in child support.
  7. #7
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJane View Post
    Texas doesn't HAVE to allow a deviation for the child that still lives with the "NCP", but since in this case it WAS allowed, I would assume the same as you. The deviation is to take into account the needs of the child remaining with the paying parent.

    And yes, OP, Texas bases child support strictly upon the income of the paying parent, regardless of the income of the receiving parent. Fair or not, that's how it is.

    I understand the deviation taking into consideration the needs of the child remaining but I still don't understand why the flip doesn't apply to my ex.

    Let's say for example my daughter living with me was had with another woman. I'd still only be paying my ex 32.2% based on me having one child in my household. Then I'd either be with the other woman still or getting child support from them.

    Now let's say that my ex had my daughter with another man and he was custodial parent. I'd be paying her 35% since I no longer had a child in my household and she'd be paying him 13.6%. Why don't I get the same consideration as far as the 13.6% is concerned?
    Last edited by ntyowzer; 09-10-2012 at 12:10 PM.
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    If she makes less than you, then it might be that small of a difference for you. I think you should just take the flat 20% of her income and subtract that amount from the 35% of YOUR income, and that should be the amount you pay.
    ntyowzer likes this.
  9. #9
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    If she makes less than you, then it might be that small of a difference for you. I think you should just take the flat 20% of her income and subtract that amount from the 35% of YOUR income, and that should be the amount you pay.

    Makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

    I guess what I'm looking for in this case is if anyone has any direct experience or knowledge of this type of situation? Any examples of how child support was ruled in a case like mine?

    I get a lot of "this is just how it's done" or "I think" and similar. But I can't get much of an explanation in direct reference to the family code as to why my ex doesn't have to pay child support on a child for which she is NCP. The 2.8% deviation is not a child support payment. It is a deviation based on how many children are in my household, whether they be hers or not.
  10. #10
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    How much would you be paying for 5 kids?
  11. #11
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2 View Post
    How much would you be paying for 5 kids?
    In Texas if I were paying for 5 children with no other children in my household I would pay 40%.
  12. #12
    ntyowzer is offline Junior Member
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    FYI for anyone running into this situation in the future:

    I finally was able to talk to the Texas Attorney General Child Support Division legal department today. I guess I had been talking to those that did not understand how this situation works.

    When a divorced couple has 5 children, one parent has 4 children and the other parent has 1 child then guidelines show that each parent would pay the other based on how many children one parent has in custody and how many the other parent has in their household.

    In my particular situation I should be paying her 32.2% of my salary and in return she should be paying me 13.6% of hers.

    Texas Family Code has a chart that makes this pretty simple. Children before the court vs. number of children in NCP's household (number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty to support). So in this case it would be 4 vs. 1 and then you turn it around and do 1 vs. 4. Make sense?

    Have a good day!
    Last edited by ntyowzer; 09-13-2012 at 12:50 PM.
  13. #13
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    And rather than having 2 checks crossing paths, you should subtract the amount of her obligation from the amount of your obligation, and pay that amount to her.
  14. #14
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntyowzer View Post
    FYI for anyone running into this situation in the future:

    I finally was able to talk to the Texas Attorney General Child Support Division legal department today. I guess I had been talking to those that did not understand how this situation works.

    When a divorced couple has 5 children, one parent has 4 children and the other parent has 1 child then guidelines show that each parent would pay the other based on how many children one parent has in custody and how many the other parent has in their household.

    In my particular situation I should be paying her 32.2% of my salary and in return she should be paying me 13.6% of hers.

    Texas Family Code has a chart that makes this pretty simple. Children before the court vs. number of children in NCP's household (number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty to support). So in this case it would be 4 vs. 1 and then you turn it around and do 1 vs. 4. Make sense?

    Have a good day!
    Actually to me it does not entirely...at least not the 13.6% for mom. If your wages are close to similar, then the one child in your household would be getting a lot more support per capita, than the 4 children in mom's.

    That often happens to subsequent children, from a second relationship, but this isn't that case.
    Last edited by LdiJ; 09-13-2012 at 02:42 PM.

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