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Understanding Texas Child Support

The state of Texas expects all parents to financially support their children, whether they have custody of those children or not. Child support suits can come up in a number of ways. Anytime a divorce involves children, the court will include a child support order as part of the divorce decree. For children born outside of marriage, however, one parent may still ask the court for a support order. Such cases may require a paternity action.

No matter how your child support case comes about, you need a skilled lawyer who can help you understand the process and your options. At McClimon Family Law, we are here to advocate for your rights and make sure you have the answers you need to your questions. Attorney Caroline McClimon has over a decade of Texas legal experience and has handled over 100 contested divorce and custody cases.

What Factors Help Determine Child Support?

The law provides guidelines for the court to follow when determining child support. In most cases, children spend more time living with one parent than the other. The court considers that person the custodial parent and the other parent the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent will likely be the one paying child support to the custodial parent, who provides for the child through housing, food and other essentials.

In order to calculate child support, the court follows these guidelines:

  • For one child, 20% of the paying parent’s net income
  • For two children, 25% of the paying parent’s net income
  • For three children, 30% of the paying parent’s net income
  • For four children, 35% of the paying parent’s net income

The court will not calculate payments based on more than $8,550, even if the paying parent’s monthly net income is more than that unless the court finds a proven need for a higher amount. The court can deviate from these guidelines if it finds evidence to support that deviation. The court may also order a parent to pay or share the cost of medical insurance coverage for the child.

In addition, if the court finds that the noncustodial parent is purposefully unemployed or underemployed, it can still require that parent to pay support based on his or her earning potential, rather than net income.

Can Child Support Change Over Time?

When major life events create significant changes to your financial situation or that of your ex-spouse, you may need to modify your child support order. Common reasons may include:

  • Becoming unemployed
  • A significant increase in income
  • A major change in child custody
  • A serious illness or accident

We can help you decide if a modification is needed in your case. In addition, if you need assistance with the enforcement of a court order, we can assist you with the steps you must take.

Discuss Your Child Support Questions With Us

Child support can be a confusing topic for many parents. Let us answer your questions. To schedule an appointment at our Smithville office, please call 888-712-4804 or fill out our online contact form.