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Whether you are getting divorced in Texas with children or are attempting to collect child support, it’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this complicated and difficult process alone.
Child support is essential to raising a healthy and happy child, and Texas law recognizes that parents have a duty to their children when it comes to providing care as well as support.
If you have questions about your Texas child support case, you should know that child support lawyers in Texas can assist you. An advocate at the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC can examine the facts of your case and discuss your options with you today.
Understanding Texas Child Support Law
Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 154 et seq.), the noncustodial parent has an obligation to provide child support for his or her child.
In other words, the parent who does not have custody of the child is the parent obligated to pay child support. That parent is the “obligor” under the law.
This type of child support law uses the “percentage of income model.” In Texas, the child support obligation is a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income. Guidelines are in order to establish the precise amount of child support the noncustodial parent provides. The amount of the child support obligation increases with additional children. So if the noncustodial parent has two children (or more), the support obligation increases.
In some states, the “income shares model” is a different method of calculating child support. With this model, both parents contribute to the child support obligation. It is important for Texas families to understand that this is not the model used under Texas law.
If you have questions, the child support lawyers in Texas at the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC can help.
Calculating Child Support in Texas
Generally speaking, courts stick to the child support guidelines when determining the amount of the child support obligation.
What do the guidelines say about calculating child support in Texas? The following are the guidelines used by the court:
- 1 child: 20% of the obligor’s net income;
- 2 children: 25% of the obligor’s net income;
- 3 children: 30% of the obligor’s net income:
- 4 children: 35% of the obligor’s net income;
- 5 children: 40% of the obligor’s net income; and
- 6 children: at least 40% of the obligor’s net income.
It is important to note that the child support obligation is based on the noncustodial parent’s net income. There is a cap on child support in Texas, known as the maximum child support amount. This cap adjusts periodically for inflation and changing circumstances in the family. For example, if the child has special medical needs, for example, the court can increase the child support obligation.
A child support lawyer Texas can provide more information about calculating the child support obligation.
How Does Texas Child Support Get Paid?
Texas law clarifies that an individual can provide child support in a number of different ways. The court can order any of the following:
- Periodic payments of child support (such as once per month, or twice per month);
- Lump-sum payment;
- Annuity purchase;
- By setting aside property to be used for the support of the child; or
- Any combination of periodic payments, lump-sum payments, annuity purchase, and/or the setting aside of property.
How Long Does a Noncustodial Parent Pay Child Support in Texas?
Texas law requires that any parent is obligated to pay child support for one of the following amounts of time:
- Until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school (whichever occurs later);
- Up until the child becomes emancipated as a result of marriage or through a legal action;
- Until the child’s death; or
- Until the child becomes indefinitely disabled.
The law makes clear that the court can order either or both parents, depending on the family situation, to pay child support. For instance, if the child’s grandparents have custody, both parents may potentially pay child support.
Enforcing and Modifying Texas Child Support Orders
If you are owed child support, an experienced Texas child support attorneys can help you through the courts to hold the non-paying parent accountable.
And if you need to change a child support order due to a change in circumstances, understand that you may be able to modify your order with the help of our Texas child support lawyers.
Contact Texas Child Support Lawyers
If you need assistance with a child support matter in Texas, our Texas child support attorneys at the Tidwell Law Firm. PLLC can help. We know how to advocate for your interests and for those of your children.
Contact us today to get started.
schedule your free consultation.