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Everything's bigger in Texas, except child support

With so much at stake for both the parents and children involved, a child support court decision can shape the personal and financial landscape of many people for years, if not decades, to come. While some non-custodial parents may fight or ignore their required payments, others often take direct legal action in order to lower or limit the amount which they pay each month. For one NBA All-Star that fight paid off earlier this month.

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh won a sizeable victory in court against his ex-girlfriend when an Orlando judge recognized his official residence as being located in Texas, rather than Florida. Due to the state's child support laws, Bosh will pay $2,600 each month to the woman, with whom he has a three-year-old daughter. However, had Bosh been ruled a resident of Florida, his monthly payments would have risen to roughly $30,000 each month.

Bosh will make the support payments for the next 15 years, over which time he stands to save nearly $5 million thanks to the judge's ruling. Since separating with his ex, Bosh has married, purchased a new multi-million dollar mansion, and seen the birth of his new infant son.

Born and raised in Dallas, Bosh was ruled a Texas resident on account of his 2011 IRS income-tax filings being sent from Texas. The ruling may surprise many, given that in order to secure a mortgage for his new $12.5 million Miami Beach home, the professional athlete had to sign an affidavit swearing that the Florida home would be his permanent residence. In addition, the Heat star had his name struck from Texas voter records and has been employed by the Miami team for the last three years.

Bosh's child support victory serves as a valuable lesson for all those involved in such a case, no matter which side of proceedings they may inhabit. While common sense and signed documents seem to signify Bosh as a Florida resident, attorneys' litigation and legal technicality placed him in Texas, and in effect keeping millions of dollars in his hands and out of his ex-wife's reach. In order to guarantee a child custody case reaches its proper and just outcome, contacting a family law attorney is a critical first step.

Source: Electronic Urban Report, "Chris Bosh Scores BIG Over Baby Mama," Dec. 5, 2012

•· For more information about numerous aspects of family cases, please feel free to visit our Houston divorce page.

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