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Understanding Texas Child Support


A parent’s top priority is making sure their child is taken care of, which can be difficult if their family falls apart. When parents divorce or separate, finances can become a huge issue. Parents might be concerned with how they will continue to contribute to their child’s wellbeing or whether they will even have the resources available to take care of the child. However, Texas has laws in place to ensure every child receives the support they need.

Factors That Determine Child Support

In Texas, the parent that makes child support payments depends on which parent has physical custody. Typically, this means the custodial parent or the parent who spends the most amount of time with the child will receive support payments. Texas law has a statutory formula for establishing and calculating child support. The amount of money the noncustodial parent can expect to pay in child support depends on several factors.

The judge may adjust the amount of child support based on the following:

  • Age and needs of the child

  • Any educational experiences the child may incur past secondary school

  • Cost expenses for health insurance

  • Resources for the child’s welfare

  • Who has managing conservatorship and/or possession

  • Periods of access to the child

  • The ability of each parent to contribute to supporting the child

  • The paying spouses earning capacity

  • An employer, person, or business who provide benefits such as a house or a car

  • Any paycheck deductions that apply

  • Any other cash flow including investments

  • Debt from either party

  • Any other factor affecting the child’s best interest, after considering each parent’s circumstance

Calculating Child Support Payments in Texas

If the noncustodial parent has more than one child or they are paying support for more than one child, the amount of income they will need to provide may be lower.

The Texas child support guideline states the following:

  • One child: 20% of the paying party’s net income

  • Two children: 25% of the paying party’s net income

  • Three children: 30% of the paying party’s net income

  • Four children: 35% of the paying party’s net income

  • Five children: 40% of the paying party’s net income

  • Six or more children: not less than 40% of the paying party’s net income

Child support is also dependent on the noncustodial parent’s monthly income minus tax deductions. Texas has a cap on the amount of monthly income that can be used when calculating child support. If a child has “proven needs” above the cap, a judge can order one or both parents to make up the difference.

Additionally, if the parents agree to a different set of rules, the court will usually not intervene. If parents are still not sure about calculating child support, the Attorney General provides an online calculator. It can show a more accurate representation of how much monthly child support the noncustodial parent can expect to pay.

Concerned About Child Support?

Even when families split apart, it’s still necessary for both parents to provide their children with the essentials they need. Although both parents are involved in raising the child, the noncustodial parent will need to pay child support even if they have visitation time. The reason for this is because it is assumed that the custodial parent is technically paying child support through the daily costs they spend raising the child. Since the noncustodial parent is not supporting the child every day, child support becomes necessary.

If you are concerned your child is not receiving the support they need or you are unsure about the amount of child support you should be paying, consider reaching out to a Woodlands family law attorney. Parchman Law Group is dedicated to addressing your concerns and keeping you informed through every step of the process. We are here to be you and your child’s advocate during this time.

Call Parchman Law Group today at (713) 364-0777 if you are concerned about any issues regarding child support.