Following a divorce or annulment proceedings, the next big question in everyone’s minds is who should pay for child support. Child support is defined as the money paid by a parent to the custodial person in support to a child’s basic needs on his or her way to becoming a capable adult.
Technically, child support is an obligation by both parents to support a young child’s financial needs without the prompting from a Texas court. However, laws covering child support are so complicated and confusing that parents need the help of a family attorney in Round Rock to clarify the laws.
Who pays the child support?
To determine this, you need to first understand the legal meaning of a “parent” as defined by the Texas Family Code. To be considered a parent, you need to be one of the following: either the child’s biological mother, biological father, adoptive mother, adoptive father, the man presumed to be the child’s father by being married to the mother when the child was born, or a man with a signed acknowledgment of paternity.
Although both parents are required to provide support to their growing child, it is almost always the non-custodial parent or the one who spends the lesser amount of time with the child who pays for child support.
How much should a non-custodial parent pay for child support?
This is where it gets tricky. The state requires the non-custodial parent to pay the minimum standard for child support. However, the minimum guideline might not be enough to cover most expenses that need to be paid when caring for a child. This includes costs for education, medical expenses, child’s health insurance, and any tutoring, lessons, sports, or other extracurricular activities a child might undertake during this time.
If you are wondering just how much your estimated child support will be or, conversely, is due to you, you can use an online calculator to attain an estimate of your projected child-support sum.
How long must a non-custodial parent pay for child support?
The answer depends on a Texas court’s decision. Child support can be paid until the child either turns 18 years old, graduates from high school, or is emancipated by court order. It can also end when the child marries or dies.
However, if the child is physically or mentally disabled, then the court might require that child support payments be permanent.
Child support can be paid in lump sums, annuities, property settlements, or monthly installments that employers automatically deduct from a non-custodial parent’s wages and submitted to the state for distribution to the other party.
If you are still confused or have any questions on how child support works, contact a reputable family attorney in Round Rock to set an appointment for a consultation.
Common Questions: Child Support in Texas, TexasLawHelp.org
CS Parents Frequently Asked Questions, TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov