Child support is court-ordered payment, typically due twice a month, that a non-custodial parent pays to support their child or children. In Texas, the court will determine the amount of child support due based on a formula. The parent with primary custody (or custody for the most days each week) will likely receive child support, while the other parent will be asked to pay it.
Generally, child support in Texas is used to cover 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. In addition, Texas is one of the states that requires medical child support. The parent paying child support might provide coverage through his or her health insurance, or might reimburse the other parent for the cost of health insurance. The cost should not exceed nine percent of that parent’s income. Both parents are responsible for medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Typically, child support 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.
One of the main concerns of many parents paying child support is making sure their income and child support is calculated correctly. When calculating payment amounts, the court considers factors such as:
- Each parent’s income
- How many children need support
- The basic and special financial needs of each child
- Age-appropriate costs such as day care, extracurricular activities, food, school supplies, etc.
- The medical needs of each child, including health insurance
- Any other factor relevant to the financial needs of the children
If you believe your child support payments need to be recalculated, whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, we will work with you to ensure that the data being fed into the child support formula is a true reflection of your overall financial situation.
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.