Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim

Texas Child Support

Texas Child Support

In Texas, a non-custodial parent pays child support to help the custodial parent take care of their child or children. Although some courts will dictate that both parents must support their kid, it is often that the parents without custody pays maintenance.

The amount of money a person pays in child support varies. The amount paid is a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. Parents can pay more than the money that is outlined by the court order. However, non-custodial parents cannot pay less than is mandated.

Child Support Texas

In simple terms, one parent pays child support to the other parent to take care of the child’s needs. Needs such as clothing, food, housing, activities, and other items that need funding are paid for through child support.

It is a common misconception that the custodial parent who receives child support is not entitled to cover additional costs for the minor. The money the custodial parent would pay in child support actually is the funds used daily to raise the youngster.

It is assumed that the custodial parent uses the money paid through child support directly on the child. However, this is not always the case. Issues can arise in which custodial parents use the funds for other means.

Can I pay Texas Child Support with Vouchers?

There is no way to prevent a custodial parent using the funds received for other means and it is not acceptable for a parent to pay child support in Texas by way of food stamps, vouchers or any other indirect form of financial contribution without a Court Order allowing them to do so.

Regardless of how much one parent may disapprove of the others spending it is legally frowned upon as coercion and control to attempt to circumvent the normal Texas child support payment mechanisms.

How to file for Child Support in Texas?

Child support In TX is calculated on the income of the non-custodial parent. The state can file and collect child support on the behalf of the custodial parent. This doesn’t always occur, however. Non-custodial parents must often file for child support in Texas on their own behalf.

One way to file for child support is to contact the Texas Attorney General’s office. In some situations, contacting the Attorney’s General office will trigger it to file the child support claim for you. This doesn’t occur in all situations. Parents who have received government assistance should contact the Attorney General’s office to initiate a petition for child support.

You can also apply for child support in Texas by visiting the Attorney General’s website. There is an online application form available to apply for child support. You can also request a paper application to be sent to your home to fill in.

How soon can you file for Child Support Tx?

Pregnant women are not eligible to apply for child support. It is a good time for women to begin thinking about the process, however. Once the baby is born, it is possible for the mother to apply for child support. Pregnant women seeking to apply for child support once the baby is born can contact their preferred family law firm for advice.

The father may not acknowledge the paternity of the child. This can slow down the process of applying for child support in Tx. Mothers may have to order a paternity test to prove the paternity of the child. This process can be slow but must be completed before child support payments can be received.

The earliest a parent can file for child support in Texas is after the baby is born. However, becoming familiar with the paperwork prior to the child’s birth is helpful.

What you need to know about Child Support in Texas

The state of Texas has outlined the amount of child support a parent must pay the custodial parent. A Judge overseeing the child support case can use their own discretion to determine how much a non-custodial parent pays.

Child support in Texas typically depends on the non-custodial parent’s net income. The number of children being supported is also taken into consideration. The courts consider a child’s best interest when determining the non-custodial parent’s payments. Some of the factors considered by Texas courts include education expenses, medical expenses, non-school activity expenses, and the custodial parent’s financial status.

In some cases, judges can move away from the guidelines and offer a variation on the payment options. If it is in the child’s best interest, a judge can vary from the guidelines of payment.

How long does Child Support in Texas last?

Child support in TX often covers children until they graduate high school or reach 18-years-old. Child support may stop depending on which event occurs first. Payments from the non-custodial parent can also cease if a child marries, is legally declared an adult, or is disabled. If a child is disabled, the court may order the non-custodial parent to provide long-term financial support that could last the rest of the child’s life.

What does Child Support in Texas cover?

Guidelines in Texas do not specifically outline what child support covers. There are some specific areas that child support in Texas does cover. These areas include:

  • Basic necessities – Food, clothing, and housing are all important areas that child support is supposed to cover. Funds can go to feeding, clothing, and paying rent, mortgage, or utility bills.
  • Medical care – In Texas, divorced parents are required to carry some type of health insurance. The parent with the best work benefits typically covers all medical insurance needs. This includes dental and vision care.
  • Education – Books, private lessons and tutors, and meals can be included in child support. Sports equipment and school trips can also be covered.
  • Childcare – Child support in Texas may cover childcare if the child is too young for school or needs afterschool care.
  • Transport – The upkeep of a vehicle can be covered in child support. Funds can also be used to cover public transport.
  • Activities – Items such as sports teams, clubs, and other non-school activities can be covered by child support in Texas.

Failing to pay Child Support in Texas

There are some serious consequences you can face by failing to pay child support in Texas. Punishments can range and include:

  • Going to jail
  • Your driving license being revoked or suspended
  • Child support can be garnished from your wages
  • Tax refunds and/or lottery winnings can be intercepted
  • A lien can be placed on your property
  • You may be denied a passport
  • Your credit rating can decrease
  • You can be denied access to your child

If you owe child support in TX, it is important to keep up on your payments. It can be easy to fault on your payments, but it may not be easy to overcome the punishments leveled by the state.  There are loopholes in Texas child support processes and you should be aware of them in case your partner tries to employ any of the illegal tactics that are sometimes promoted as loopholes.

Child Support Disbursement Unit

Texas Child Support Law stipulates that all child support payments in Texas must go through the Texas State Disbursement Unit, also known as the SDU.

Whether you are the parent receiving the child support or the parent paying child support, the Texas State Disbursement Unit (SDU) can prove useful for both parties.

The Texas SDU is the authority responsible for processing child support payments in Texas. It was established by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and has been instrumental in collecting child support payments in Texas ever since.

The Texas SDU has increased the accuracy of accounting for payments and receipts of child support in the Lone Star State and now custodial parents receive their payments much faster than before.

Tx child support law enforces the payment of child support and in the majority of cases it is the non-custodial parent that pays child support. IN Texas, ‘non-custodial’ usually means the parent the child doesn’t live with.

The Texas State Disbursement Unit actively engages in ‘wage withholding’ which means the SDU collects child support directly from the non-custodial parents employer.

Money is deducted ‘at source’ and sent to the Texas State Disbursement Unit for payment to the custodial parent. In cases where the non-custodial parent is self-employed it is still useful to arrange Texas child support payments via the SDU so that an electronic paper trail exists of all transfers between parties.

The SDU (State Disbursement Unit) offers many ways to pay child support such as

  • mail a payment
  • pay at the Tx child support office
  • pay online child support in Texas
  • pay by phone.
  • pay by cash, credit card or bank draft

Details for Texas SDU

Telephone: E-mail:855-853-8286 txecsupport@smimail.net
Address:Texas State Disbursement Unit PO Box 659400 San Antonio, TX 78265-9400
Address for Payments:Texas State Disbursement Unit PO Box 659791 San Antonio, TX 78265-9791

TX Child Support Calculation

Whether you owe child support in TX or are receiving child support payments this table gives you an idea of the generally accepted amounts of child support to be paid in Texas

Texas LawFamily Code Section 154.001, et seq.
Texas Child Support Payments
Child support amounts are based on a percentage of the monthly net resources of the non-custodial parent and the number of children in the family unit.

  • 1 Child: 20%
  • 2 Children: 25%
  • 3 Children: 30%
  • 4 Children: 35%
  • 5 Children: 40%
  • 6+ Children: Not less than the amount for 5 children

These guidelines apply to situations in which the non-custodial parents monthly net resources do not exceed $9,200.

Monthly Child Support CalculatorWhile the court will have the final say on child support amounts this handy downloadable guide will help you to calculate the payments and what can be included in ‘monthly net resources’. Child Support TX Calculator Sheet

How is Child Support in Texas Calculated When There Are Children Outside of the Family Unit

When there are stepchildren and other children from other previous family units to consider the Tx Child Support guidelines reduce the payments due on the following percentage point basis:

No. of Other Children


How Much is Texas Child Support

One of the first questions a separating or divorcing couple ask upon separation, even if there was no relationship beforehand is, “how much is child support in Texas”? The answer depends on individual circumstances although there are broadly accepted calculations.

A non-custodial parent is expected to pay a pre-determined percentage of net resources with a percentage deduction for other children outside of the immediate family unit for whom the parents may still be responsible.

Net Resources in Texas Child Support

Monthly net resources for the purposes of Texas childcare support calculations are the total of all the income you receive on a monthly basis, minus deductions such as Social security taxes, income taxes, and cash medical support.

According to the Texas Code, the following items are classed as income / net resources by TX law.

  • 100 percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses)
  • interest, dividends, and royalty income
  • self-employment income
  • net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation)
  • all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits, unemployment benefits, disability and workers benefits, interest income from gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony

Texas Net Resources do not include income from:

  • return of principal or capital
  • accounts receivable
  • benefits paid in accordance with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or another federal public assistance program
  • payments for foster care of a child

*If a self-employed person attempts to alter or fabricate their income, expenditure and earnings the Texas Child Support Courts are at liberty to set their own estimation of net resource.

The following infographic helps to answer the question of ‘how much is child support in Texas’.

Child Support in Texas Calculator Guide

Child Support in Texas Calculator Guide

September 2020 Child Support Texas Law Change

From 1st September 2020 the maximum amount of child support under Texas Child Support Guidelines increases. This means the maximum child support that can be claimed or paid rises from $1,710 per month to $1,840 per month for one child.

Child Support Evaders in Texas

In Texas, child support is taken very seriously by law, and since children have so many different needs, it is imperative that non-caring and supportive parents do everything they can to keep up with payments to ensure that childcare costs are paid on time and in full. Unfortunately, there are many cases where supportive parents fail to meet their obligations.

The state takes action to ensure that parents pay and bear the legal consequences if payments are not made when they are due, or if the account goes into default or deficit. The Office of the Attorney General has developed a program to identify those who are considered delinquents or are considering making their payments delinquent.

The Office of the Attorney General in Texas regularly publishes an online list of those who fail to pay their child support in order to ‘name and shame’ perpetrators and warn other families. Citizens of Texas are encouraged to give law enforcement tips on identifying parents who are not paying their child support.

These are some of the worst child support evaders in the state of Texas:

Texas Child Support Evaders

Texas Child Support Evaders

Texas Child Support

Texas Child Support Login

Texas OAG Child Support

In Texas, Child Support is managed by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is the official child support enforcement agency for the State of Texas. As well as being the enforcement agency the OAG have a number of online tools and services that make managing the child support process simple and efficient. The Texas OAG Child Support has one of the best Child Support systems in the United States. 

Texas OAG Website

Texas Child Support Laws

The main child support law in Texas is Chapter 154 of the Family Code.

The full Chapter 154 can be found here: Chapter 154