Child Custody and Child Support

Reaching a child custody arrangement can be one of the most emotionally draining experiences of your life. When deciding child custody issues, it can be helpful to have the assistance of an experienced family law attorney who will fight to help you protect the safety and well-being of your children and preserve your rights as a parent.

You need the benefit of a family law attorney with experience, knowledge and integrity. Sally Bybee works diligently to help you find the best resolution possible. She understands the law and will take the time to discuss your options and help you make sound decisions.

Whether you are able to reach an agreement through negotiation and mediation, or you require court intervention, she will explain the process and put you in position to establish an arrangement that provides a healthy and stable future for you and your children. Contact Sally's office online or call 972-419-8308 to discuss your child custody concerns.

Creating Sound Custody Arrangements for Your Children's Benefit

Custody arrangements, whether agreed upon by the parties or court ordered, should uphold your children's best interests while taking each parent's lifestyle into account. Child custody is broken down into two elements in Texas. First, the rights and duties of the parents are decided. Second, the periods of possession are determined. While the Texas Family Code outlines standard periods of possession, you may deviate from these guidelines, and the best interests of the children will control the final outcome. She can help you negotiate an agreement, or present your case in court, while always keeping in mind the best interests of your children.

Sally has over 30 years of experience offering detailed advice on various custody related issues, including:

  • Conservatorship, which means decision making rights for your children
  • Periods of possession of your children
  • Child support determinations and deviation from standard child support guidelines
  • Protection of your children
  • Ensuring the emotional and physical well being of your children

How is child support calculated?

Child support is most often addressed in connection with divorce, post-divorce modification actions, and paternity actions. Child support is often calculated depending on the net resources of the non-primary parent. However, the Courts also consider additional factors in addition to the net resources of a spouse, including:

  • The age and needs of the child;
  • The ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child;
  • Any financial resources available for the support of the child;
  • The amount of time of possession of and access to a child;
  • 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;
  • Child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment;
  • Whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child;
  • The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and currently being paid or received by a party;
  • The expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school;
  • Whether the obligor or obligee has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity;
  • The amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties;
  • The provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses;
  • Special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child;
  • The cost of travel in order to exercise possession of and access to a child;
  • Positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments;
  • Debts or debt service assumed by either party; and
  • Any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.

Post-Divorce Modifications of Child Custody and Child Support

When circumstances change, child custody and support arrangements or orders can quickly become obsolete. If this happens, either party may seek a modification to child custody or support orders in an effort to create a more functional arrangement. Whether you are seeking a modification to an existing arrangement, or you are contesting a modification, you need an experienced family law attorney who has handled many child custody modifications to help you.

When seeking a modification, you must establish a change in circumstances and demonstrate how the modification serves the best interests of your children. Common causes for modification include:

  • Changes in employment or income
  • Relocation of a parent
  • Remarriage
  • Child's preferences