All parents have a financial responsibility to support a child until he or she becomes an adult. Anyone legally recognized as a parent bears this financial responsibility. Any parent who does not have sole custody of a child must pay child support to cover the cost of a child’s needs, including health insurance, basic needs, and education.
Child support in Texas can positively affect a child’s life, both physically and emotionally. Giving children financial support is one way to show your love. At Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, we want to ensure that every child has access to the income needed to live a happy, productive life. We also want to ensure that parents do not take advantage of the system or one another.
If you’re having child support issues, we handle both military and civilian cases. Don’t wait until child support becomes a contentious issue to reach out for help. We can help you secure reasonable child support payments, protect your rights as a parent, and make sure your child receives the care and support needed to thrive.
Determining Child Support in Texas
Child support payments are determined based on a noncustodial parent’s resources. In addition to annual income, a parent’s overtime, financial assets, unemployment and pension benefits, and interest income all play a role in determining child support payments. Certain deductions do exist that may ease the burden of monthly payments, including:
- Taxes (state, federal, and Social Security)
- Health insurance and expenses for the child
- Union dues
To determine the monthly payments a parent is responsible for, calculate the full net income, subtract the deductions, divide by 12 (number of months), and then multiply the answer based on the appropriate percentage. The percentage of income that will go toward child support increases based on the number of children a parent must support. For one child, a parent must pay 20%. For two children, a parent must pay 25%. The percentage increases incrementally by 5% based on the number of children.
When Child Support Ends
A parent will typically stop paying child support payments when the child turns 18 and/or leaves high school. Child support may also end if a child enlists in the military at 18 without completing high school, marries, or attains legal emancipation. Courts may extend child support payments in special circumstances so that care will continue for children who are disabled.
Paying Child Support
Parents should not pay child support directly to the other parent. Instead, Texas requires that child support payments go through the Texas Attorney General’s State Disbursement Unit. Paying through the state ensures each payment goes on record and that children in the state receive the financial support they need. In the past, parents could easily use financial payments as a form of control over other parents. Parents who pay child support must thoroughly understand the terms of the court order to avoid adverse legal actions.
A parent bears responsibility for paying child support even if he or she does not have visitation rights. However, if you do have visitation rights and are paying full child support, your co-parent has no right to keep you from your child.
Child Support Attorneys in Fort Hood
At Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, we understand the stress that comes from child support determinations on both side of the fence. Receiving adequate payments, recording payment use, and changing child support orders after a job loss or income change can all be difficult both financially and emotionally.
Our Family Law attorneys understand that you want to care for your child in the best way possible, and we’re here to make the process of filing for child support, enforcing the terms, and modifying the terms as stress-free as possible. For a free case evaluation, reach out to our office today.