Child Support in Texas
All parents must support their children financially. It is their legal duty as a parent. Child support is the money the parent pays the other parent to help support his or her child when that parent doesn’t live with the child. In most cases, it is the parent that does not have primary custody that is expected to pay child support.The term for this parent that owes the child support is the obligor. The term for the person that receives the money for the child is the obligee. An obligee is ordinarily a parent but not always. It can be another family member, such as a grandparent. What is the definition of a parent? In the state of Texas, a parent is a legal term. A parent means one person is the biological mother and a man who is presumed to be the child’s father. The parent can be legally determined to be the child’s biological father, or the person who signed the acknowledgement of paternity. A parent can also be an adoptive mother or father.
How long is a parent obligated to pay child support in Texas?
The Texas Family Code provides that the Court may order either or both of the parents to financially support a child:
- Until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever is later;
- Until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law;
- Until the death of the child; or
- If the child is disabled, for an indefinite period.
So how exactly do you determine a parent’s child support obligation in Texas?
The legislature has developed guidelines for use by the court. The application of these guidelines is rebuttably presumed to be in the best interest of a child. Therefore, the court will ordinarily follow these guidelines unless it determines that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances. For the most part, parents pay child support based on a percentage of their net income. Income includes wages and salary, commissions, overtime, interest income, rental income, income from retirement, trusts, annuities, unemployment benefits, and any other income received by the Obligor. The court will look at net income after deductions are taken from federal income tax, Medicare and Social Security and the cost for healthcare insurance for the child. However, as further support, the obligor generally must pay for that health insurance for the child. If a parent has no other children to support besides the one in the current situation the percentages below are applied: 1 child 20% of the Obligor’s Net Resources 2 children 25% of the Obligor’s Net Resources 3 children 30% of the Obligor’s Net Resources 4 children 35% of the Obligor’s Net Resources 5 children 40% of the Obligor’s Net Resources 6 or more children Not less than 40% of the Obligor’s Net Resources Here is an easy to use child support calculator to get a rough estimate of what one might need to pay in child support. How much child support in Texas am I entitled to? This is a common question we get when we meet with clients on family law matters at Puhl Law Group, PC. Figuring out proper child support and obtaining it is best handled by a family law lawyer. The lawyers of Puhl Law Group, PC. are well-versed on child support issues.