Understanding Child Support in Texas
As you move through the divorce process, the court will decide a number of important post-divorce orders, including child support and child custody if you and your ex share children.
Keep reading to learn how this process works here in Texas and how our team can help.
What Does Child Support Cover?
One of the most common questions we receive regarding child support payments is what exactly the money covers. In Texas, child support payments are used for a child's basic needs. This includes:
- Education (public)
- Medical care
- Dental care
The parent who receives child support can use their own discretion to decide how to use the money as they believe is appropriate.
Which Parent Pays Child Support, and How Much?
Under Texas law, the parent who has physical custody of their children will receive child support (also known as the obligee), paid by the noncustodial parent (also called the obligor). If custody is shared between two parents, the parent with the least amount of custody will pay for the child support.
The exact amount that will be paid is calculated depending on the noncustodial parent’s net monthly income. The amount paid will also change depending on how many children you have. For example, the guidelines for one child is 20% of a parent’s net monthly income, while two children is measured at 25% of the income. The noncustodial parent is responsible for sending the money to their co-parent every month.
In addition, it’s possible for a noncustodial parent to pay more than they’re awarded — but they must never pay less. The judge will also deem that at least one parent provides health insurance for their children, depending on workplace benefits and costs to each parent.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
Texas has defined the following guidelines for the length of child support payments:
- Until either the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.
- Until the child is emancipated by marriage.
- Until any disabilities of the child are removed.
The specific length will be determined by the court depending on your child’s individual needs. For instance, permanent support may be awarded for an adult child with a disability.
Can You Challenge Your Support Order?
If your co-parent is unable to pay their child support, a modification may be awarded in extreme circumstances, such as loss of employment. However, if you’re having trouble getting your ex to pay, you should speak with your attorney.
It’s also possible for a noncustodial parent to challenge their support order once a year. An order that has been in place for more than three years may be eligible for an adjustment depending on the amount of support being paid.
Child Support & Child Custody Lawyers in Denton
Whether you are seeking or contesting support or wish to revisit an existing support order, our legal team at James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. has the experience you need to help you obtain results.
Contact us now at (940) 310-6122 so that our dedicated Denton child custody lawyers can advocate for you immediately.