If you have sole or primary custody (called conservatorship in Texas) over your child or children, you have the right to child support payments from your co-parent. Child support is a periodic, ongoing payment that one parent makes to another following the end of a relationship or in instances where the two parents are not in a relationship. These payments help cover the cost of a child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and medical care. 

Typically, in Texas, the amount of a child support payment is calculated through a percentage model which usually amounts to 20 percent of the paying parent’s net monthly income. For each additional child, another 5 percent is added. For example, an obligor with three children would pay 30 percent of their net monthly income. The court will determine the financial resources of the paying parent by evaluating factors such as their salary, social security benefits or unemployment benefits, interest income, capital gains, gifts and prizes, and more. 

Typically, this percentage-based child support payment model will support a child’s basic needs, but there are some instances in which a custodial parent may require additional support and have questions about how they can get more money from the parent paying child support. This is known as a child support modification, and it can help provide some financial relief and stability to the custodial parent. 

While the Texas courts typically review and reevaluate child support payments every three years, there are some extenuating circumstances which may give a custodial parent grounds to request a higher payment. 

In order to request more child support in Texas, you must meet one or more of the following conditions for a “material and substantial change change” in circumstances: 

  • Your child’s medical insurance has changed or they have new, significant medical needs
  • You have become legally responsible for additional children
  • The other parent’s income has significantly increased

Child support payments can be modified through the court or out of court through the Texas Child Support Review Process (CSRP). In order to go through the CSRP, you and the other party will have to agree about how to change the original court order. Informal agreements between you and the other parent will not change the child support payment. This must be done through obtaining a new court order. 

Navigating the world of child support and child custody is complicated. It’s important to speak with an attorney about options whether you are the parent paying or the parent receiving child support. 

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.