How Does Child Support Work?

We get questions from many divorcing parents about just how does child support work? In Texas, there are statutory guidelines that affect how much each parent contributes to their children’s needs based on the parent’s net income. It generally turns out that the parent who lives with the child most of the time receives child support and the other parent pays the child support.

Child Support and Money

Texas Child Support Guidelines

Parents are expected to support their children both emotionally and financially. In keeping with this expectation, the state legislature approved certain guidelines that family law courts use in establishing an amount of support that one parent will pay to the other. Basically, a parent is expected to use 20 percent of his or her net income to support one child and then there are other percentages with each additional child, and so forth.

The Family Code allows parents to agree to a different amount if the court agrees the amount is in the best interest of the children. Certain expenses, like health insurance, must be included in all plans and if it is left out of the plan, the court will not approve the plan until health insurance is put into the plan, in writing.

Child support is one lump sum and meant to cover several expenses such as, but not limited to:

  • Shelter
  • A portion of the utilities
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • School supplies
  • Expenses for extra-curricular activities
  • Day care
  • Any other expense deemed in the best interest of the child that is included in the child support agreement 

The goal is to have expenses established so the receiving parent does not need to continually ask the paying parent for more money for expenses that were not thought of during the negotiation process.

How is Child Support Paid

In Texas, all child support payments go through a unit of the Attorney General’s office in Austin. It can be set up electronically, where one parent pays the support to the Attorney General, and the receiving parent will receive the payment electronically from the Child Support Disbursement Unit. This way, both parties can track the payments online. They can also ask for a review online. There are a lot of things parents can do online through the child support office. They can track support, make payments, request reviews, request an enforcement, etc.  It is a good resource for Texas parents.

If you have questions about child support, or need help with working out a child support plan, contact us at Martinez Legal, P.C. We can help you through the process so you and your co-parent can work together to achieve an outcome that is in the best interest of your children.

Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment: 940-320-2922.