Monthly Child Support and What Age Children get to Choose Parent

Live at Five’s family attorney Sonya Coffman answers questions submitted by KFDM News viewers. These questions include:

  • How much child support should be paid per month?
  • At what age will a judge let a child choose which parent to live with?


A child support case between a supermodel and a French billionaire made news headlines the model had been seeking forty six thousand dollars in monthly child support payments what would happen if that were to happen in Texas Live at Five’s family attorney Sonya Coffman joins us now with details and I know most people are thinking forty six thousand a month that's a lot of money a lot of money but is that reasonable it if that had been granted that would've been the record child support award I believe in history but in Texas most people fall under guidelines support that we're all familiar with its the percentage that's applied to the for seventy five hundred in net resources but occasionally there are situations with really high earners that the parent on the other side thinks that they need more than guideline support and that that is sometimes granted if that parent can prove the child has needs such as what well needs in excess of what the child support would be things like what people argue over would be private schools there has been a case of a bodyguard granted uh... for a child in Southeast Texas no not in Southeast Texas but in Texas in general in Texas this was in a border town there was some danger in the court did think the bodyguard is warranted things like expensive summer camps there’s even a case in Texas where the court found that the child's clothes from Neiman Marcus was a proven need so it depends on the earnings and the circumstances of the situation and this obviously her being a supermodel and dad being a billionaire I mean there were a lot of things and of course it's an undisclosed settlement it was but what I heard her saying was that my child should have a comparable lifestyle to the billionaires other children and that is not the basis for child support in excess of the guidelines it's not to support lifestyle it's to meet unproven needs of the child or unmet needs of the child I should say all right let's get to some of our Facebook questions at what age will a judge let a child choose which parents to live with I think we have this pretty much every time you’re on people always want to know that at twelve years old the court is required to listen to the child but the child never gets to decide the court always has the final word on what’s in the child's best interest and it is a very stressful thing to put a child in the middle most people are gun-ho I want the judge to talk to my child most children don't want to choose and don’t want to be placed in that position but people bring them to the courthouse everyday alright might want to think about that my daughter is seventeen in court gave custody to the father what legal age will she be allowed to come home well the possession and access order goes through the time the child is eighteen as a practical matter I think most judges would say that you can't force a seventeen year old to do whole lot as a practical matter seventeen year olds are usually driving and going back and forth at will all right now unfortunately we've got lots of other questions and not enough time but we will get to those next time you're on we appreciate you stopping by thank you.