child support

Introduction to Child Support in Texas


What is Child Support?

Child Support is the financial obligation of a non-custodial parent towards his or her child. Every child is entitled to support for his or her housing, food, clothing, and educational needs.

Parents have a joint responsibility responsibility toward their children even without court order. A judge will set an amount for Child Support after the conclusion of a divorce case, custody case, paternity case, family violence protective order case, or modification case.

The amount is received by the parent or legal guardian who has primary custody of the child. 

How is Child Support calculated?

It depends. In Texas, usually, one child is entitled to 20% of the non-custodial parent’s average monthly net resources and not less than 40% for 6 or more children. It depends on the number of children you are supporting and other circumstances. A lawyer can help estimate how much money the court will most likely set for Child Support. If the non-custodial parent is paying for the child/ren’s Medical and/or Dental Insurance or Support, this will be taken into consideration and credited to the amount required for Support. Simply put, if you shoulder Medical and/or Dental Insurance or Support, it will be deducted and you will pay a lesser amount for Child Support. That’s because Medical and Dental Support form part of Child Support.

What is Medical Support?

Medical Support covers the cost of health insurance and other uninsured medical expenses for the child. The amount of which depends on the circumstances of the child.

The non-custodial parent can provide for Medical Support in the form of a health insurance coverage or cash. Texas only requires parents to pay the reasonable cost of health insurance coverage for the child. By “reasonable cost”, the State means that the amount need not exceed 9%of the non-custodial parent’s annual resources.

What is Dental Support?

Dental Support is like Medical Support. However, instead of health insurance, what is covered is reasonable cost of dental insurance and uninsured dental expenses of the child. “Reasonable cost” for Dental Support need not exceed 1.5% of the non-custodial parent’s annual resources.

If the non-custodial parent does not shoulder Medical and/or Dental Support, these shall be included in the court ordered amount allowed for Child Support.

 

If the non-custodial parent never supported the child, the court may order him or her to pay back all the missed support the child is entitled to. It means that there may be a retroactive effect. There’s really no way of escaping it. If you have more inquiries about Child Support, check out the other blog posts on Child Support on this site. If you need legal advice and representation in a case involving Child Support, consulting with a family lawyer is the best step to take. 

 

 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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