Child Support in Texas

What is the child support law in Texas?

Child support, in most instances, is based on the Texas Child Support Guidelines. To put it simply, child support usually ends up being 20% of the obligor's (the party paying support) net pay for 1 child, 25% for two children, 30% for 3 children, and so on, up to a maximum of 40%. In Texas, the courts most often require the obligor to also pay for the children's health insurance.

The issue of child support usually arises in three contexts: support paid pursuant to a divorce or modification of an order, support ordered from a finding of paternity, and enforcement of an existing support order.

Courts want to see children provided for. If a judge orders one parent to be the primary conservator of the children, he or she will usually order the other parent to pay support. Likewise, if the children change from living with one parent to living with the other, then the support is likely to shift.

If support has already been ordered, sometimes a modification of the amount of support is necessary. Either the paying parent changes jobs and the pay decreases or the receiving parent desires an increase in support due to various reasons. Once three years have passed since the signing of the last order, a party seeking a change need only show that the support obligation is not within the Texas guidelines. Prior to the passage of three years, that party must also show that there has been a change in circumstances that warrants an increase or decrease in support.