What are the nuts and bolts of child support in Texas?

Child holding parent's hand

Child support is critically important to the future of the child.

Texas favors a strong public policy based on the expectation that parents must share the financial responsibility for raising their children. Simply, child support is the amount of money that one parent is ordered to pay to the other parent (or in some instances, a non-parent conservator) to help support the child.

The amount of child support is determined using a statutory formula (what lawyers commonly call “guideline support”) and, if a person’s orders are drafted correctly, can be enforced by the courts. This formula is based on the obligor’s (the financially obligated parent) net income (subject to certain limitations) and also on the number of children that the obligor is obligated to support. Using a calculation set forth in the Texas Family Code, a percentage of the obligor’s income is ordered to be paid to the other parent.

After the amount of child support is determined, the support must then actually be paid to the obligee (the person ordered to receive the child support payment). If the obligor is employed, the easiest way is to pay is through an income withholding order. The Texas Family Code states that “[i]n a proceeding in which periodic payments of child support are ordered, modified, or enforced, the court …shall order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor.” Tex. Fam. Code 154.007. This income withholding order will be drafted by your attorney and approved by the court.

The income withholding order (“IWO”) will then be sent to the Texas Office of the Attorney General, who will ensure that the child support is withheld from the obligor’s income automatically and then remitted to the obligee, either on a payment card, check, or direct deposit. The Office of the Attorney General will also keep a detailed record of the support paid.

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The Justice Law Firm in Southlake, Texas is dedicated to helping individuals in Southlake and the surrounding areas with Divorce and Family Law issues. At the Justice Law Firm, you will find experienced and professional divorce attorneys.