What Expenses Does Child Support Cover?

Blogs from September, 2020


When parents get divorced, it’s only natural that they worry about their children’s future. Which parent will get custody? Will the court order child support payments? If it does, will those payments be adequate?

You are about to read a brief general discussion of the child support rules in Texas, but if you’re a divorced parent and you are concerned about child support, you’ll also need personalized advice. In Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Comal, and other counties statewide, seek that advice from San Marcos child custody lawyer David C. Hardaway.

For How Long Are Child Support Payments Made?

If you are ordered to make child support payments in Texas, those payments will typically continue until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school (the latter of the two), or until the child emancipates through marriage. If a child is deemed mentally or physically disabled by the court, the child may receive support indefinitely, permanently, or until the disability is removed.

If you and your spouse divorce without your own child support agreement, the court will order the non-custodial parent to make child support payments to the custodial parent. Court-ordered child support in Texas follows specific guidelines and is determined by using a number of calculations and considerations.

What Are the Texas Child Support Payment Guidelines?

In this state, child support guidelines are based on the monthly net resources of the non-custodial parent and the number of children:

  1. For one child, child support is 20% of the non-custodial parent’s monthly net resources.
  2. For two children, the amount is 25%.
  3. For three children, the amount is 30%.
  4. For four children, the amount is 35%.
  5. For five children, the amount is 40%.

If there are more than five children, the court will order a child support amount that is not less than 40% of the non-custodial parent’s monthly net resources.

What Are Considered Monthly Net Resources?

What are a non-custodial parent’s monthly net resources? It is that parent’s monthly income minus:

  1. Federal income taxes
  2. Social Security taxes
  3. State income taxes
  4. Union dues (if those are withheld)
  5. Health insurance coverage for the children (if payments are withheld)

What Does Child Support Cover?

Exactly what do your child support payments pay for? That is entirely up to the custodial parent, who has the legal right to make decisions regarding the child. The parent who makes the child support payments cannot determine – and has no say over – how the other parent spends the funds.

If your ex spends the child support money on gifts for a new girlfriend or boyfriend, candidly speaking, there is nothing that you can do about it.

The Only Practical Option

However, let’s say that you pick up your kids for a visitation, and you notice they are wearing the same old and unwashed clothes they wore the last two or three times they visited you – while the other parent has just splurged on new clothes or a vacation.

If you are persuaded that your children are not properly cared for, your only practical option is to seek their custody. Call (512) 846-9966 to schedule a consultation with San Marcos child custody lawyer David C. Hardaway or to begin the child custody process.

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