Child support in Texas is governed by a set of rules and guidelines with the intention of placing the best interests of the child first. Child support laws in Texas are enforced by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which represents the state and not the child or either parent.
Determining Child Support in Texas
A child support order normally is based on 2 specific factors. The first is your net income. This is the amount of money you are paid after taxes. The second is state child support guidelines. Child support laws in Texas abide by the following guidelines when determining the amount of money owed to the custodial parent:
- 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s net income is to be paid to support 1 child;
- 25 percent of net income to support 2 children;
- 30 percent of net income to support 3 children;
- 35 percent of net income to support 4 children; and
- 40 percent of net income to support 5 children.
Even if your income is unknown, the state legally may issue a child support order.
Child Support Laws in Texas: Unemployed or Unknown Incomes
In cases where the paying parent is unemployed or his or her income is unknown, the court may base the amount of money to be paid on a 40-hour work week at minimum wage.
Unemployed parents may still be required to pay child support under Texas child support law; therefore, it may be advisable to speak with a Dallas child support lawyer for guidance.
If you want the court to consider changing the amount of child support paid because of your unemployment status, you may have to prove to the court that you are looking for a job or participating in an employment training program such as those offered by the Texas Workforce Commission.
Texas Child Support Law: Multiple Children in Differing Households
The amount of child support you pay may be adjusted from the above listed amounts if you can show you are supporting multiple children living in different households. Your Dallas child support lawyer can relay this information to the judge or OAG for consideration.
Modifying Orders for Child Support in Texas
Until a child is 18 years of age, the non-custodial parent is required to make child support payments. It could be even longer if the non-custodial parent had a private lawyer or if the two parents signed legal paperwork agreeing to a different cease-and-desist date.
If circumstances have changed since the original order was set in place, you can request that the child support order be modified.
To qualify for this type of modification, you will need to prove that either there has been a major change in your life that is now affecting your ability to pay the original amount of child support ordered or that 3 years have passed since the child support order was created or modified and there is now a 20 percent or $100 difference in what you would be expected to pay today based on your current income level and the state’s child support guidelines.
Keep in mind, just because you meet 1 or both of the qualifications listed above does not mean the court is obliged to change the amount of child support ordered. This is why it is a good idea to have someone who knows Texas child support law on your side.
Contacting a Texas Child Support Lawyer
Child support laws in Texas are in place to protect the child, and parents need to know what is expected from each of them. Discussing your case with a Dallas child support lawyer may help.
The attorneys at Warren & Migliaccio have years of experience, and we’ll use that training to provide you peace of mind for the future, whatever the circumstances for your divorce or family law situation. From the initial consultation until the day your divorce is finalized, our Texas family lawyer team at Warren & Migliaccio is here to advocate on behalf of you and your children. Contact our Dallas law firm today at 1-888-584-9614.