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Texas Child Support Laws To Know When Divorcing

Child support is often one of those things that people don’t think much about until it becomes an issue in their divorce. But child support is actually a big deal, especially when there are children involved. If you’re thinking about getting divorced in Texas, it helps to understand how child support works. Here are some key points about child support in Texas.

What Is Child Support?

The purpose of child support is to help parents provide for their kids financially while they are still minors. In Texas, the amount of child support varies depending on the circumstances of each parent and the type of parenting arrangement.

Who Pays Child Support?

There are different ways to pay child support in Texas. You can either pay directly to the custodial parent, or you can pay into a state registry account. Either way, the money goes toward helping out with daycare costs, medical bills, school supplies, clothing, food, etc., for the minor child.

How Much Does Child Support Cost?

In Texas, the cost of child support depends on several factors. These include the number of children being supported, the ages of the children, whether the children live with both parents, and what percentage of physical custody each parent receives.

How Is the Amount of Child Support Payment Determined?

Child support payments are typically based on two key factors: the number of kids you have and how much money you make every month. Here’s what you need to know about calculating child support payments.

One child: 20% of the non-creditor parent's monthly net income. This amount varies depending on whether there are additional children involved. If you have one child, you'll pay 20% of your net income per month. For example, if you earn $1,000 per month, you'd owe $200 in child support.

Two children: 25% of the non-credit parent's monthly net income, plus 10% of his or her net income over $2,500. So if you're paying $300 per month for child care, you'd owe $250 in child support ($300 x.20 + $100 x 0.10). In this case, you'd owe $50 extra each month because you have two children.

Three children: 30% of the non-parents monthly net income, minus 50% of the non-child's net income over $2.5K. So if you're earning $3,000 per month and your spouse makes $7,000, you'd owe $1,350 in child support ($3,000 - $2,500 $750; $750 x.30 - $500 x.50 $150). You'd still owe $50 extra per month since you have three children.

Four children: 35% of the non-father's monthly net income, less 50% of the noncustodial parent’s net income over $2k. So if you earn $4,000 per month and you have four kids, you'd owe $700 in child support ($4,000 - $2k $2,000; $2,000 x.35 - $1,000 x.50 $650). You'd still owe another $50 per month since you have four kids.

How Are Child Support Payments Made?

There are several ways for a non-custodial parent to pay child support. One way is to make monthly payments directly to the custodial parent. If you do this, it’s important to note that you can’t deduct those payments from income taxes. You must report the payments as gross income.

Another option is to make one lump sum payment every month. This method is often used when there’s a large amount due, such as when the court determines that the non-custody parent owes more than $10,000 per year.

A third option is to use the State Disbursement System (SDU). In most states, SDUs are operated by the state government. They receive money from both parents and distribute it to children based on specific criteria. For example, the state disburses money to children whose families live in poverty.

The fourth option is to work something out with the custodial parent. Sometimes, the custodial parent agrees to accept less than what he or she deserves. Other times, the parties agree to a lower payment schedule. Whatever happens, you can't change the terms of the original agreement unless you go back to court.

What Happens if the Non-Custodial Parent Fails to Make Payments on Time?

A custodial parent can use contempt of court proceedings to enforce a court order against a non-custodian. If you fail to make payments on time, you risk being jailed. You can also face fines of up to $1,000 per day for each missed payment.

Texas law gives courts broad authority to punish those who violate court orders. A judge can issue an arrest warrant, place someone under house arrest or commit someone to jail. In addition, judges can fine people up to $500 and send them to prison for up to six months for every violation.

Can Child Support Be Paid As a Lump Sum?

In some cases, custodial parents in Texas will agree to receive child support through a lump-sum payment. This allows the parent to avoid having to make multiple biweekly payments. However, lump sums do not automatically remove the possibility of future modifications. If the court determines that the parent’s circumstances have materially and substantially changed since the agreement was signed, the court could modify the amount of child support owed.

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Are There Texas Laws That Cover Medical Child Support In Texas?

If you're thinking about getting divorced, there are several things you'll want to consider. One of those things is what happens to your children in the event of a breakup. If you don't think about how your kids will be cared for once you split up, it could end up costing you big bucks down the road.

In some cases, the courts will require one parent to pay for the health insurance coverage of the child(ren). This is called "medical support." As long as the court finds that the child's health insurance costs are reasonable, the parent who pays for it must do so.

Texas law requires that each parent provide health insurance for his/her minor children. The law says that insurance must meet certain criteria. For example, it must cover pre-existing conditions and it cannot discriminate based on age.

The state does allow parents to ask the court to waive the requirement, but doing so might mean that the other parent won't have to pay anything toward the child's health insurance.

There are many reasons why you might want to make sure that your child gets covered under your spouse's plan. Some people choose to insure their child because it gives them peace of mind knowing that their kid will always be covered. Others simply feel like it's the right thing to do. Either way, the fact is that it's something that you should take into consideration.

An experienced divorce lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your divorce case. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

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