Child support is one of the foundational aspects of making sure your child gets the resources they need while growing up. Child support gives a child of divorced parents the access to proper medical care, school supplies, food, and housing. Since raising a child is so costly, this support is a means to supplement the income of a household to have both parents of a child involved in their development. While children typically need support most times after a divorce, there are some requirements to get financial support for a child.
How Is Child Support Implemented in Texas?
You can start the process to receive support in several ways. However, it all starts with deciding who the child’s caretaker will be. In Texas law, the person who houses a child is the custodial parent, whereas the parent who doesn’t house the child is the noncustodial parent. This arrangement allows for a family law court to decide who makes the support payments and who receives them. The custodial parent of a child always receives payment while the noncustodial parent always makes the payment. This is because custodial parents have more responsibility for caring for a child in the way of money on a day-to-day basis. These two parties are the obligee and the obligor. The obligor must make payments to the obligee. Most commonly, a family court will set out guidelines for this type of support during or after a divorce hearing.
What Are Support Guidelines for Kids?
Child support guidelines lay out how much and when support payments must be made. In Texas, there is a standard set of guidelines an obligor must follow. However, it’s possible that in some circumstance a court will rule that the standard guidelines don’t uphold the best interest of the child. Depending on the situation, this could mean that an obligor will be responsible to pay more or less in support payments.
Standard guidelines say that an obligor’s financial support payment derives from their net monthly income. The state calculates the net monthly income by calculating gross annual salary. This is then divided by 12 to come to a sum for gross monthly pay. Afterwards, any other income sources, such as stock dividends, social security, and product royalties create the total. Finally, the court will come to a figure for net monthly pay after subtracting the tax obligations of the obligor from their gross monthly pay.
In the state of Texas, they base child support on 20% of net monthly pay. However, this percentage can increase depending on the amount of children involved. For each child the custodial parent must care for, the percentage increases, up to 40%. However, this percentage can exceed 40% when there are more than six children. It’s also worth noting that Texas support guidelines mandate that one parent is responsible for a child’s insurance. Though, a child can be on either the obligee’s insurance or the obligor’s insurance.
What Is the Duration of Child Support?
Child support duration in Texas varies on certain factors relating to the child that requires payments. In Texas, custodial parents can receive support until their child reaches the age of 18. However, it’s possible that circumstances may lengthen or shorten the payment period. Child support payments stop whenever a child becomes married, graduates from high school, or a cure is found for a preexisting disability. Though a disability may disappear, a child may have a preexisting disability that lasts a lifetime. In this case, the obligor may have to make support payments for life. If a child becomes disabled after the divorce has occurred, but is under the age of 18, the obligor is may also need to pay support for life.
What Happens if Support Isn’t Paid by the Obligor?
Unfortunately, the obligor may not make child support payments on time or not at all. This can be a huge hassle when it comes to your child’s wellbeing. Texas takes this matter extremely seriously. In Texas, an obligor who doesn’t make the proper support payments is at risk for committing a crime if the obligee seeks damages. When an obligor doesn’t make payments, the obligee can ask a court to take action against a non-payment.
If support payments aren’t made, the obligor can not only have their wages garnished, but also any money in their bank can be garnished as well. For situations where an obligor has missed support payments previously, they may face jail time and a fine. Because Texas takes child care seriously, it also takes support payments seriously. As an obligor, it is imperative that support payments are made on time and for the full amount.
It’s noteworthy to mention that even if an obligee doesn’t allow the obligor to have visitation time, the obligor still must make his or her support payments.
A Family Attorney Can Help You Receive Child Support
When it comes to family, it’s important to put them above everything else in your life—especially when it involves your child. Having the support of two parents is necessary when raising a child. Child support helps make that happen after a divorce. Unfortunately, getting support to take care of your child or children can be difficult, but, there is help for you.
Cross Family Law loves to help families looking for child support in order to give their child what they need. We believe no child should go without the things they need to develop. We know that your child is important to you. By hiring one of our family law attorneys, you can make sure your child gets what they need, when they need it. We’re here to support you and fight to get your child the care it needs.