Calculating and enforcing child support in TX

Texas has certain policies and guidelines for setting child support amounts, as well as enforcing child support payments.

Divorce can be a financial strain on the entire family, especially if there are children involved. Not only is it hard for a family to adapt to a new living situation, but there may be a change in income that affects the family's quality of life as well. Child support is ordered as a way to help families in Texas and across the country that are struggling with the financial aftereffects of divorce.

Texas child support model

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas uses a percentage of income model when ordering child support in a divorce settlement. Under this model, the custodial parent's income is not calculated into the final child support amount. Rather, the court-appointed judge will look at the non-custodial parent's financial information when determining how much child support he or she will be required to pay. The percentage will vary depending on how many children are involved. For instance, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay 30 percent of his or her net resources when supporting one child, and 25 percent when supporting two children.

Additional considerations

Under Texas guidelines, the child's best interest comes first and foremost when making decisions regarding child support. Every situation is unique, and the judge may use his or her discretion when determining the amount of child support to order. In addition to regular child support payments, the non-custodial parent may also be required to provide medical insurance coverage for the children. This includes monthly premiums, as well as a portion of any medical expenses that may arise from doctor's appointments, prescriptions and any other types of healthcare treatments.

Enforcement methods

Texas officials use a number of different enforcement methods when parents fail to meet their monthly child support obligations. According to the Texas Attorney General's Office, these methods include:

• Suspending parents' professional licenses and/or driver's licenses.

• Deducting child support funds from parents' paychecks.

• Seizing any funds parents may receive from lottery winnings or income tax refunds.

• Filing a lien against their properties and/or bank accounts.

Parents who are seriously delinquent in making their court-ordered child support payments may be added to the child support evaders list. Negligent parents must owe more than $5,000 in past due child support funds, have a warrant out for their arrest and be at least six months delinquent in their payments in order to be added to the list.

Discover your legal options

Whether you are a custodial parent who is seeking delinquent child support funds, or you are a non-custodial parent who is interested in modifying your court-ordered child support amount, you may want to speak to a divorce attorney in Texas. With a firm knowledge of Texas's divorce laws, a lawyer may help you explore all of your legal options.