Law Office of Sean Cody  




Divorce is one of the most stressful things that someone can endure.  If you have children, you are forced to deal with custody and visitation issues.  The property from the marriage must be divided.  Community and separate property must be identified.  Debt must me allocated between the parties.  The retirement savings and accounts must be divided.  I have helped my clients reach a resolution without court on many occasions.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the court is available as a last resort and I stand ready to present my client's claims to a judge and jury.

  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Temporary Orders
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support (Alimony)
  • Property and Debt Division
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Legal Separation
  • Name Changes
  • Paternity
  • Protective Orders
  • Retirement assets and Income

I am happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your situation.


Child Support

Child custody and support are two of the most emotional issues in a family law case.  I offer ten years of experience helping parents who are moving through the family law process.  I can help.  I have appeared in the courts of Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Grimes County, Collin county, Travis County, Tarrant County and Dallas County.

Key Benefits

  • Domicile Restrictions
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Support
  • Conservatorship
  • Parenting Plans
  • Temporary Orders
  • Pick-up and delivery
  • Division of nights and weekends
  • Transportation
  • involvement in extracurricular activities
  • Issues involving new spouses or significant others
    Child Support is a very emotional subject for both the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent.  The State of Texas has guidelines that determine the amount of child support that is to be paid based on the income of the non-custodial parent.  I have been able to use my expertise to ensure that the child support is appropriate and within the law.

    How Much Income Does the Child Support Apply to?

    The Texas Family Code has guidelines that determine the percentages which apply to the first $6,000.00 of the non-custodial parent’s income. If the child has proven special needs, then additional support may be warranted.

    What are Those Percentages?

    The following percentages are presumed to be appropriate:

    Number of Children % of Net Resources

    • 1 child 20%
    • 2 children 25%
    • 3 children 30%
    • 4 children 35%
    • 5 children 40%
    • 6 or more children Not less than 40%

    What is My Net Income? 

    Attorneys use a chart provided by the Texas State Attorney General to assist them in determining what the "net monthly income" is for the purposes of child support. This amount is based on the obligor’s "net gross monthly income."

    What is Income?

    • SALARY 
    • TIPS 
    • BONUSES 

    How is Child support Calculated?

    The Texas legislature requires that the total amount of money received by the person obligated to pay child support from all of the sources listed above be totaled and then subtracts social security taxes and federal taxes (using one deduction), state income tax (if any), union dues and the cost of the health insurance for the child.

    What is the Obligor has children outside of the Marriage? 

    The Court uses a different percentage to determine the correct amount of child support.

    What if the Person ordered to pay support is not working?

    The Court will still order a minimum amount of child support to be paid each month.  the court might determine that the person is intentionally unemployed and order guideline support on what that person would make if he was working.

    Will the Court waive child support if the parties agree to that?

    Generally not.  The right to "waive" the support is construed to belong to the child and not to the parent with whom the child lives. Since the child, obviously, is not competent to make this kind of decision, the Courts are reluctant to allow child support to be waived.

    The Texas Court always considers the "best interest of the child" standard", and is very serious about the obligation of a parent to support his or her child.

    What is a Wage Withholding Order?

    This is an order that is served on an employer and results in the child support being deducted from the employee’s salary every time he or she receives a paycheck.

    The money is forwarded to the Texas State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio, which, in turn, sends the payments out to the party who receives the support.

    Is Child Support considered taxable income by the IRS?

    No, it is not income to the recipient and is not deductible by the person paying it.

    What about Health Insurance?

    If Health Insurance is available from one of hte parent's empoyers, the court will order that the child be placed on one plan or another.

    The Texas Court is very concerned about the ability of children to have access to adequate medical care, and will order that medical insurance is obtained and paid for by one of the parties, normally the same party who pays child support


Modifications of Custody

Modifications of Custody and Support are often necessary due to changes in the circumstances of the parents and the children.  there are numerous reasons that a modification may be needed and I can help you with your needs. 

How often may an Order be Modified?

    If there is a substantial change in circumstances, the order may be modified at any time..

If There is no Substantial Change in Circumstances, May an order be Modified?

    Yes, an order of child support may be modified one year or more after it has been entered without a showing of substantial change in circumstances if:

      (a) the order works a severe economic hardship on either party or the child;
      (b) the child is no longer in the age category on which the current support amount was based; and
      (c) a child is still in high school and there is a finding that there is a need to extend support beyond the eighteenth birthday to complete high school.

How can I Modify an Order?

    A petition for modification must be filed with the court.  The other parent must be served and proof of service must be filed with the court.

How Long does the Other Parent have to Respond?

    The responding parent's answer must be filed with the court within twenty days after service of the petition. 

When can a Hearing be Scheduled?

    Hearing may be scheduled with proper notice at any time after the other parent files an answer.  Either parent may schedule a hearing.

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Copyright © 2007 Law Office of Sean Cody
Last modified: 03/15/09