In Texas, child support is available for any child that is under the age of 18. If the child is enrolled in school which leads to a high-school diploma, and are attending classes, then child support will continue until the month of graduation (provided the child does not marry or otherwise become emancipated). If the child is disabled, then the payment of child support could be required indefinitely. The parties can agree to pay child support for longer periods (e.g. – for college expenses, etc); however, these are typically agreed contractual support, rather than Court Ordered child support.
Child Support in Texas is generally a function of the amount of money that the non-custodial parent or payor (usually called “Obligor”) earns multiplied by a percentage that is assigned based upon the number of children with the other parent. This amount is referred to as the “Guideline” amount. The Texas Guideline amount is based upon earnings of $7,500 per month or less. The Guideline percentages are as follows:
1 CHILD: 20 Percent of Net Resources
2 CHILDREN: 25 Percent of Net Resources
3 CHILDREN: 30 Percent of Net Resources
4 CHILDREN: 35 Percent of Net Resources
5 CHILDREN: 40 Percent of Net Resources
6 CHILDREN (OR MORE): Not Less than 40 Percent
If the Obligor has other children for whom he or she has a duty of support, then the Guideline amount may be slightly less.
If the Obligor earns more than $7,500, then the Texas Court has the discretion to award more child support if it believes this is in the best interests of the child(ren), provided such amount is less than the the proven needs of the child. Net resources may include various sources of income, including traditional earnings from employment. The Court can also impute earnings to the Obligor based upon the ownership of assets.
Generally, the issuance of a Wage Withholding Order (sometimes called Employer’s Order) is required. Once served upon the employer, the child support will be automatically deducted from the Obligor’s paycheck.
If you have a legal issue related to Child Support, particularly in Austin or Travis County, please contact Divorce Attorney Cindy Veidt for an appointment to discuss.