Child Support

Will Dwight Howard Save on Child Support If He Signs With The Houston Rockets?

It’s not every day that you see a sports headline on a family law blog.  For those of you who are not basketball fans, Dwight Howard is one of the top basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA).  While he played last season for the Los Angeles Lakers, he is now an unrestricted free agent and is currently being courted by a number of NBA teams, including the Houston Rockets.

Yesterday, a local Houston rapper by the name of “Slim Thug” sent, among others, the following message to Dwight Howard on Twitter:

The “20%” remark is a reference to the fact that the child support guidelines in Texas require a child support obligor (the person paying child support) to pay 20% of their monthly net resources in child support for one child.  The percentage goes up by 5% for each child thereafter, up to 6 children.

As strange of a method of recruiting a basketball player as it may seem, I immediately realized that “Slim Thug” makes a dangerous attorney.  While it sounds great, unfortunately for Dwight Howard, he’s absolutely incorrect.

I’m not entirely sure where Dwight Howard’s children live, but if he’s paying child support, the children don’t live with him.  The reason that is important is because in most states, if not all, jurisdiction to set child support is typically determined by the residency of the children.  Unless the children are also moving to Texas to be closer with Dwight Howard, his decision to come play basketball for the Houston Rockets will have little to no impact on how his child support is calculated.

The lesson?  If you want to know how your child support will be affected by a move to Texas, talk to an attorney licensed in Texas.  Don’t rely on guys who call themselves “Slim Thug” on Twitter.

Child Support

Texas Child Support Cap To Be Raised September 1, 2013

When calculating the amount of child support that a parent must pay in a Texas child custody case, a Court is generally limited in the amount of a parent’s income that may be considered in the calculation without evidence that the child requires additional support.  Prior to 2007, the Court could only consider up to $6,000 of the parent’s “net resources” (calculated by deducting from gross monthly income certain amounts for income taxes, payroll taxes and the child’s health insurance premiums).

With the passage of legislation in 2007, Texas Courts are now allowed to consider up to $7,500 of a parent’s net resources in calculating child support.  Also, a system was put into place which would allow for the automatic readjustment of the cap every six years based on the rate of inflation.  The first such adjustment is due this year.

I recently received notice that the Texas Office of the Attorney General will be publishing an increate of the cap on net resources from $7,500 to $8,550, effective as of September 1, 2013.  For those receiving child support from someone whose net resources are at least $8,550, this could mean the possibility of seeking an increase in child support in excess of $200 per month.