Child support is an ongoing financial arrangement between the parents of a child that helps ensure the child’s basic needs are met in the event the parents are not in a relationship or don’t live together. It takes the form of periodic payments made by the non-custodial parent (or the parent who does not have primary custody of the child). The parent who makes these payments is referred to as an obligor, while the parent receiving the payments is called an obligee. 

Many individuals going through divorce have questions about what child custody costs and what the payments can be used for. 

In Texas, child support payments are typically calculated using a percentage model. For one child, the child support payment is usually 20 percent of the obligor’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. 

These payments can be used to cover a child’s basic expenses, such as: 

    1. Food. Food is one of the biggest expenses when raising a family. If you are paying child support, you will need to budget accordingly. 
    2. Clothing. Clothing is another big expense for families with kids. This includes items such as shoes, coats, and school uniforms.
    3. Medical care. Child support payments cover basic medical and dental care. Optional or cosmetic medical procedures may not be covered, so speak with your lawyer if you have questions. 
    4. Education. Child support also helps pay for educational expenses. This includes tuition, books, fees, room and board, and other costs associated with attending school.

In some instances, the amount of a child support payment can be changed. However, it can only be modified by a court order and must be based on grounds such as a significant change in the circumstances of the child or parent. A parent paying child support may also request a review of the child support amounts every three years. 

This blog does not constitute legal advice. For questions about child support payments, child custody, and other family law issues, contact the experts at Sandoval today.