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Things to Know About Child Support in Texas

In the state of Texas, in most instances, the parent with the least amount of time with the child, known as the noncustodial parent, pays the child support.

However, it is possible the judge could order both parents to pay child support. The parent making child support payments is referred to as the “obligor”.

How Is The Amount of Child Support Determined?

The method that the state of Texas utilizes in the child support guidelines is through income percentage.

The amount of child support is typically based upon a percentage of the obligor’s net monthly income.

Child support is generally based on net income from all the obligor’s resources.

These resources include:

When the obligor has an income:

All salary and wages, this includes commissions, tips, overtime, bonuses, and military pay

Self-employment income

Dividends and interest

Net rental income from property the obligor owns

If the obligor is unemployed, they may provide payment through the following resources:

Severance pays

Workers’ compensation awards

Benefits from retirement

Veterans’ benefits

Disability benefits

A Judge May Intervene

A judge may intervene and adjust the amount when needed. For example, a judge could impute income if it is found the obligor is purposely earning below their income potential or quits their job to avoid child support payments.

The court may then calculate that parent’s income potential based on what that parent should be earning. The court may also find that “the best interest of the child” justifies a deviation from the guideline child support amount.

For an estimate of child support in your case, click here for the calculator provided by the Texas Office of the Attorney General.

How long is child support paid?

Typically, child support payments end when the last child turns eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever is later. However, if the child has a disability, the payments may last longer.

What is back child support?

Back child support, also known as child support arrears, is the unpaid amount of child support that results from a parent not making one or more monthly child support payments.

If you owe any back child support, you will need to continue to make your current child support payments going forward in addition to paying off the arrears amount. Back child support payments will continue until the debt and interest are paid in full, even if it is after the child has turned eighteen. Termination of parental rights will not erase back child support.

Retroactive Child Support?

Retroactive child support payments are not considered late. Retroactive child support is awarded to cover the time period before the child support order is signed by the Judge. Retroactive child support payments are intended to reimburse the other parent for expenses incurred prior to child support being ordered.


We can assist you if you are unsure what to do in a Child Support case.

Contact us today! We love assisting families to do what is best. We listen closely to your unique circumstances, to make sure you know what your choices are.

We are ready to assist you get the best outcome.

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