IN THE INTEREST OF C.A.W. AND C.H.W., CHILDREN
Appeal from the 306th District Court Galveston County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 15-FD-2599
consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.
W. Brown, Justice.
an appeal from the trial court's SAPCR order granting a
child support modification in favor of appellee C.A.T.
("Mother"). Appellant R.W. ("Father")
contends the trial court abused its discretion by: (1)
"setting the periodic child support obligation in excess
of the statutory [c]hild [s]upport [g]uidelines" and (2)
"finding a material and substantial change of
circumstances affecting either the parents or the children
that would warrant a modification of [Father's] existing
child support obligation." We affirm.
and Mother were divorced by final decree in July 2013 in
Harris County, Texas. The divorce decree represents a merger
of a mediated settlement agreement between Father and Mother.
Father and Mother were named joint managing conservators of
their two children, C.A.W. and C.H.W. Father was awarded
periods of possession and ordered to pay $1, 875.00 in
monthly child support to Mother for the benefit of their two
children until, for instance, a child reached 18 years of
age. Father would then pay $1, 562.50 for the benefit of one
2015, Father filed an amended petition seeking relief
regarding C.A.W. By the time of trial, C.A.W. turned eighteen
and Father did not pursue his request for relief. In November
2015, Mother filed a first-amended counter-petition to modify
parent-child relationship, seeking child support above the
statutory guideline from Father for the benefit of
C.H.W. This suit was transferred to Galveston
County, Texas, and assigned to the trial court.
case was tried before the trial court in August 2016. The
following facts were adduced at trial. C.H.W. resided with
Mother. Father stopped fully exercising his periods of
possession of C.H.W. Mother's net monthly income is $2,
116.29 and Father's net monthly income is $23, 200.
C.H.W.'s needs were itemized in Exhibit 6, which is
entitled "Child's Needs List" (the
"List"). The List also itemized the anticipated
monthly expenses for C.H.W.'s needs while residing with
Mother. The List reflected that C.H.W.'s needs totaled
$5, 291.65 per month. Mother did not have the ability to meet
C.H.W.'s monthly needs exceeding $1, 700.
conclusion of the bench trial, the trial court announced that
increasing child support for C.H.W. was in his best interest:
I find that it is in [C.H.W.'s] best interest-and based
on the facts have been presented to me-the child support
should be payable in the amount of $3, 500 per month; and I
base this upon-I took the $1, 700, which is the maximum; I
figured out how much more was over and above the 1710; and I
divided it equally between the two of you. Okay? So child
support at $3, 500.
trial court signed a final order on August 30, 2016, ordering
Father to pay $3, 500 in monthly child support.
requested findings in support of the trial court's order
by tracking the language of section 154.130 of the Texas
Family Code. Specifically, Father requested findings
regarding whether application of the child support guidelines
would be unjust or inappropriate, his monthly net resources,
Mother's monthly net resources, the percentage applied to
the first $8, 550 of his monthly net resources for child
support, and the specific reasons that the amount of support
varied from the amount computed by applying the section
154.125 percentage guidelines.
trial court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
The court's section 154.130 fact findings stated:
1. The application of the percentage guidelines in this case
would be unjust or inappropriate.
2. The net resources of [Father] per month are $23, 200.00.
3. The net resources of [Mother] per month are $2, 166.29.
4. The percentage applied to the first $8, 550.00 of
[Father's] net resources for child support is twenty
5. The specific reasons that the amount of support per month
ordered by the Court varies from the amount computer by
applying the percentage guidelines of section 154.125 of ...