What You Need To Know About Child Support In Texas
This article discusses issues surrounding child support, including:
- Whether paying child support gives you more say in decisions affecting your child.
- Whether you can influence how the child support you pay is used by your child’s other parent.
- What you can do if your child’s other parent is abusing child support.
Who Pays Child Support In Texas?
In Texas, the non-custodial parent pays child support – this is the parent who does not have the right to decide where the child lives. When custody is split evenly, either parent could be responsible for paying child support. Judges ultimately determine this, but mediators can try to get both sides to agree on a reasonable arrangement, as well.
The amount of child support ordered is determined by the state. For example, in the state’s guidelines, child support is 20% of adjusted earnings for one child. However, if the parent has other children or carries health insurance on the child that is taken into consideration when making the calculation.
If I Pay Child Support, Do I Have More Say In Decisions Affecting My Child?
Under Texas family law, paying child support does not give you any more say in decisions that affect your child. There are two types of custody in Texas: joint managing conservatorship and sole managing conservatorship.
Generally, parents will be joint managing conservators meaning each parent has equal rights and duties, with two exceptions – the right to determine the primary residence of the child and the right to receive child support. This is reserved for the parent who is responsible for the child majority of the time.
Other than that, all rights and duties are identical for joint managing conservators. However, courts can build additional rules or expectations, or the parties can ask for other things to be included in their orders if desired.
If I Pay Child Support, Can I Determine How The Money Is Used?
Parents that pay child support cannot determine how the recipient uses the funds.
What Can I Do If the Other Parent Is Not Paying their Child Support?
If the other parent is not paying child support, you are left with only a few options for resolution…
First, it’s crucial to note that you cannot withhold access to your child under Texas law for nonpayment of child support.
You can file what’s called an enforcement that formally requests the court to take action against the other parent’s failure to pay child support as ordered. You will then have a hearing where the judge will listen to you and the other side.
An Enforcement can be filed by an attorney or you can contact the office of the attorney general – Child Support Division and inform them of the situation. They will look into the situation and bring your family law case forward for the judge to order the enforcement.
Failure to pay child support is a serious offense. Judges are known to be strict on those who do not pay as ordered. What’s more, each unpaid installment of child support is considered one “count”. Each “count” can incur its own consequences, including fines and jail time.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney in Family Law, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Family Cases in Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (432) 653-1899 today.
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