Understanding child support in Texas

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Child Support Enforcement

It is the responsibility of parents to support their children. It is not a matter of if. It is only a matter of how much.

In basic terms, child support is money that the non-custodial parent pays to the custodial parent to provide for the child’s needs. Those needs include clothing, food, supplies for school, daycare, housing and various activities.

Each state has child support guidelines, which are fundamentally the same but have some slight deviations from state to state. In Texas, the child custody amount is based on the non-custodial parent’s net financial resources and the number of children that the supporting parent will be supporting.

What are the child support guidelines in Texas?

What is meant by “net financial resources” is not just income. It means the total amount of the parent’s earnings minus Social Security taxes, single-person income taxes, the amount of money that the parent would pay for health insurance for the child, medical support (in cash), union dues (if applicable) and retirement contributions (if the parent doesn’t pay Social Security taxes).

The specific child support guidelines are the following:

  • One child: 20%
  • Two children: 25%
  • Three children: 30%
  • Four children: 35%
  • Five children: 40%
  • Six children: A minimum of 40%

If there are children in more than one household whom the supporting parent is responsible for supporting, there are some additional rules that apply. The supporting parent will be instructed about exactly how to pay the child support. That can also vary. It is important to understand that even if the supporting parent lives in a different state from where the child lives, they are still obligated to pay child support on a regular basis.

What happens if the supporting parent doesn’t pay or doesn’t pay on time?

If the parent who has the responsibility to pay child support doesn’t meet their obligation, they will be forced to do so in a possible number of ways, such as having their wages garnished, liens against their property, license suspensions, being sued or incarceration.

Getting effective legal support

If you are having difficulty with your child’s financial support not being paid or not being paid on time, the advice of a Texas family law attorney can help you to turn your case around. The fact is that even though you and your spouse are no longer together, your child is innocent and should never have to pay in any way for that situation. Your child deserves to be supported according to the lifestyle that they had when you and your spouse were still together. None of that should change.