If you’ve got questions about Texas child support laws, you’re certainly not alone. Child support is paid by a parent – usually the non-custodial parent – after a divorce. According to Texas law, the parents of the child include the biological mother. Additionally, the man married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth is legally presumed to be the father, unless another man has signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity or has been proven to be the child’s biological father. Under Texas child support law, a man who is proven not to be the biological father of a child may be excused from support payments. Other commonly asked questions about Texas child support laws include:
- How much child support will be required? In most cases, the non-custodial parent pays 20 percent of their net income for one child, plus five percent per additional child. Keep in mind that “net income” includes wages, bonuses, tips, winnings, and all other income. Biological children from other relationships will also affect the percentage paid.
- How long is child support paid? Usually, child support payments continue for a child until they reach the age of 18 or graduate from high school, whichever occurs later. If the child is disabled, support payments may continue longer.
- Can visitation or joint custody be impacted by an inability to make child support payments? Texas child support law does not allow for withholding access to the child for non-payment. However, neglecting to pay child support can result in loss of driver’s license, forfeiture of property, wage garnishment, or even jail time.
- Am I responsible for child support payment if I am a minor? In short, yes. Being under the age of 18 does not negate responsibility to financially support your children once there is a court order requiring you to do so.
- If I lose my job, am I still required to make child support payments? Texas child support laws do offer provisions for support amounts to be changed in the event of a firing or layoff.