A child support order is an agreement between parents who have children together regarding financial responsibility for their children. Texas has a system of courts that handle cases involving child custody, visitation, and child support. The state also provides free legal assistance to people in need.

Child support in Texas is generally used to provide for a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. Child support can also be used to offset bills such as rent, mortgages and utilities.

If you are in the middle of a child support case or anticipate that you will need to navigate child custody and support following a divorce, here are five things you need to know:

Who Pays?

Once you have established paternity, the state will determine who pays how much in child support. This can vary based on whether the parents were married at the time of conception or not. It can also depend on the number of children involved.

When Does it Start?

If you are the parent with custody of the child, you will usually receive child support payments beginning after birth. However, there are some exceptions. If you are the custodial parent, you should file a motion within 30 days of the date of birth to establish paternity. You can do this by filing a petition in court.

What Does it Cover?

Typically, child support covers the basic needs of a child or children and does not cover discretionary expenses and extracurricular activities, such as vacations. However, Texas does not generally restrict how a parent can use child support, so if there are funds left over after a child’s basic needs are met, a parent may use them for any service or product that benefits the child. 


How Much Can I Expect?

Once you have established paternity, you will need to file a motion requesting child support. This motion will ask the court to set a certain amount of money per month as child support. The amount of child support depends on several factors, such as the number of children involved, the parents’ income levels, and whether the parents share joint legal custody.

What Happens After I Pay?

If you pay child support, you will receive a receipt showing how much was paid and when. You must keep these receipts until the case has been closed. If you do not keep them, you may lose your right to claim reimbursement.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions about a child support case in Texas, reach out to Sandoval Family Law today.