Texas Child Support Law
Texas family courts determine child support using a formula created by the Texas Legislature that factors in the income and expenses of both parents. The child support amount is a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s monthly net income. The formula calls for paying 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s net income for one child, 25 percent for two children, 30 percent for three children, 35 percent for four and not less than 40 percent for five or more children for the obligor’s first $7,500 in monthly net resources.
If the person paying child support has children from another relationship, those percentages may be reduced.
Texas law makes no provision for support during college or the payment of college expenses. However, college tuition and other agreements can be made by a contract between the parties.
At the Dallas, Texas, law firm of Lisa E. McKnight, P.C., we provide comprehensive and customized legal guidance regarding the establishment of child support. Whether you are seeking child support or you want to protect yourself from paying more than your obligation, we have the knowledge to assist you in reaching a fair resolution efficiently and cost-effectively.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
In addition to monthly child support payments, the obligor is required to maintain the children on his or her employment health insurance policy. If insurance is not available through the payor’s employment, but is available through the payee’s employment, the payor will be ordered to pay the premium costs. If insurance is not available through either parties’ employment, the payor will be ordered to provide insurance coverage to the extent available and affordable. The cost of the medical insurance is a deduction against a payor’s net resources.
Either parent can petition the court to modify child support at any time until the child is emancipated (generally age 18 or until the child graduates from high school).
If you are presented with a situation where the other parent is not paying child support, the order for support may be enforced by contempt, wage garnishment or another step. In Texas, the penalties for not paying child support are severe. They include civil penalties, attorney’s fees, judgment liens on a person’s house (even if he or she is remarried), liens on federal income tax refunds and ultimately jail terms.