When you have children and are going through a divorce, your child custody agreement is integral to your divorce decree. figuring out what child support covers in Texas can be frustrating for parents going through a divorce and a part of the settlement that can have a lot of back and forth. However, our Texas family law attorneys discuss what is covered in child support, what is not, and how you can modify or change your child support payments.
What is child support in Texas?
Child support in Texas is a monthly payment paid to the custodial parent from the non-custodial parent. Because the primary caregiver is responsible for necessities for the child or children, this parent will receive child support from the non-custodial parent to help pay for these responsibilities. Therefore, this monthly payment help with the costs of providing for a child and ensure that both parents are held equally responsible for meeting their child’s fiscal needs.
How does Texas determine child support?
The income of the non-custodial parent determines child support. The chart below is a guideline that the court will use. This guideline is based on a net monthly income between $1,000 and $7,500.
- One child = 20% of net monthly income
- Two children = 25% of net monthly income
- Three children = 30% of net monthly income
- Four children = 35% of net monthly income
- Five children = 40% of net monthly income
In addition, these calculations for child support are made based on your standard of living.
So, what does child support cover in Texas?
Under Texas law, child support does cover more than just the child’s basic food, clothing, and shelter needs. You are not allowed to deprive your child just because you got divorced. Also, the custodial parent is allowed to use the monthly payment as they see fit as long as it is for the benefit of the child’s general well-being. Therefore, here is what child support covers in Texas;
- Personal items and gifts
- Education and summer camps
- Extra-curricular activities
- Travel and forms of entertainment
Can I help decide what is covered by child support?
Deciding how child support is used will depend on whether this is something that everyone can agree to and is also in the child’s best interest. For example, child support must cover necessities, education, etc. However, some parents decide to put aside extra for things like child care, private school, college, etc. So, you can create customized child support orders to meet the child’s needs and what works best for the family.
What if I don’t like how my ex spends my child support?
If you disagree with how child support is being used, do not suddenly stop paying. Not paying will only affect you, and you will then violate the court’s order.
However, if you have proof that the money is being spent on something other than the child, it’s best to contact an experienced family attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you get a court order to modify the child support or custody agreement to protect your child if there is neglect.
What does child support not cover in Texas?
Texas child support payments do not cover medical and dental insurance. Therefore, if the non-custodial parent does not have a medical or dental plan to cover their children, medical child support will be provided as an additional payment. Additionally, if out-of-pocket medical expenses occur, the non-custodial parent will be responsible for some or all of these expenses, which are not part of the monthly child support payment.
Modifications to child support payments
As mentioned above, child support payments are calculated based on your lifestyle, income, and your ability to make these payments. However, life does happen, and sometimes situations make it difficult to make payments or make them on time. These life changes include;
- Job loss
- Serious illness
- A parent convicted of a crime
- Military deployment
- Parent abuse, neglect, alienation, or alcohol or drug abuse
Suppose you are currently going through one of these situations. In that case, it’s essential to work with a family law attorney that can work with you to make modifications to your child support payments and adjust your child support agreement.
Need help with child support in Texas?
Child support agreements and disputes are the most common components of a divorce. Therefore, Mediation is often a helpful way to get through child support disputes. However, it is also essential to have an experienced Texas family law attorney on your side.
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