Family courts in San Antonio typically make keeping families together the main focus of their proceedings. However, there may be situations where state officials are called in to remove children from a home in order to ensure their safety. Such action may be accompanied by either instructions issued by the court to parents detailing steps that must be taken in order for them to reclaim custody, or a termination of one’s parental rights altogether. In either case, one question remains after children are taken into state custody: who supports them?
Typically, the common complaint heard from those involved in the exchange of child support in San Antonio is that one who is obliged to pay it is not meeting that obligation. Yet what if you actually end up paying too much child support? This might seem an odd scenario given the importance that you likely place on helping to meet your kids’ needs, yet there are situations where this could reasonably happen.
If you count yourself among the many people in San Antonio that is owed child support by an ex-spouse, the you may be concerned about how you might be able to collect on any arrears should he or she fall behind on his or her payments. Your concern is shared by many that we here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza work with. Most rely on state enforcement methods designed to recover unpaid child support from an obligor directly. However, if those methods fail to produce results, there are other, more indirect ways to recover what is owed to you.
Despite whatever feelings divorcing parents in San Antonio may have towards each other, one aspect of their divorce proceedings that both may agree upon is the need for child support. Custodial parents (called the “managing conservator” in Texas) may realize that supporting themselves and their children without the added income of their spouse may be difficult (if not impossible). Non-custodial parents (“possessory conservators”) may likely still want to contribute to ensure that their kids’ every need is seen to. Indeed, information shared by the Congressional Research Service shows that as recently as 2013, $22.5 billion was paid in child support in the U.S.
Most in San Antonio may view establishing a child support obligation as a rather simple matter: you and your spouse choose to separate (or you choose to not marry your child’s other parent), and a reasonable amount of support is determined. Yet it is not always that simple. What if, as a single mother, you lost contact with the father of your child, only to later discover where he was living? Could you petition that he now be obliged to pay child support for the period of time that he was away?
As you and your ex-spouse work your way through post-marital life in San Antonio, you might start to notice that he or she (or others) may look for ways to hide or protect income that would otherwise be used to meet financial obligations such as child support. One such method may be to place assets into a trust. However, when reviewing income to determine a child support obligation, the court may indeed look at trust funds as income. Your spouse could try and get around this by tying that money up in properties, yet in cases where a trust holds a large amount of property and little income, the court may also view the value of property as income, as well.
Supporting a child in San Antonio following a divorce can place a severe financial burden upon you. Many of those that we here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza work with who are in similar situations may find that burden to be even heavier if their children suffer from disabilities. Child support payments from your ex-spouse may serve to ease some of the monetary strain you may be feeling, yet the unique nature of your child’s condition may require an additional obligation from your ex and possibly even you.
It may go without saying that losing your job in San Antonio will almost definitely affect your ability to pay child support. If that does happen, what are you to do? Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you do not need to do anything, and that the court will simply look upon your current situation with leniency. There are allowances made in cases where your financial situation has changed drastically, but only to a certain degree. Rather than violating your court order by stopping your child support payments, your best bet may be to seek a modification.
Many in San Antonio may view being awarded the right to receive child support as the final hurdle that custodial parents face in supporting their kids. However, several may later come to us here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C. needing legal assistance to have their child support agreements enforced. If your ex-spouse has fallen behind on his or her child support payments, you may want to familiarize yourself with the legal process of having his or her obligation enforced by the court in the event your case requires it.
It has been our experience here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C. that when child custody disputes arise between San Antonio couples, almost nothing is considered to be “out of bounds.” The high levels of emotion involved in these cases can often lead people to suggest that their ex-spouses pose a risk to their children. Some may even make accusations of child abuse. If this has happened to you, know that the Texas Family Code has policies and procedures in place to help determine the validity of such an accusation.