Child support in Texas is pretty much what it sounds like – financial assistance to support your child following a divorce. It is court-ordered money payable from one parent or conservator to the other, normally paid on a monthly basis. All child support in Texas must be paid through the Attorney General’s clearinghouse in San Antonio, called the Child Support Disbursement Unit. There is no option to opt out of that payment plan. Years ago, clients could choose to pay each other directly, but now the State will not allow that method of child support exchange.
What’s included in child support?
Child support is intended to living expenses for the child, at the primary conservator’s home, which can include things like mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, shelter, schooling expenses, daycare expenses and extracurricular activities. The only thing it really doesn’t cover, and is not supposed to cover, is medical issues. Those are handled under the medical support part of the court order. So, there’s child support and medical support, two separate things.
How is the amount of child support determined?
The amount of child support in Texas is determined based on a number of factors that the court can consider. However, most of the time, because so much of the Judge’s time is taken up with child support matters, it involves a fairly routine application of the child support guidelines to the obligor’s income. I will get into the details of calculating child support in an upcoming blog.
Why is someone expected to pay child support?
Sadly, this is the result of the State being required come up with a system to force parents to support their own children. And it is important to remember, child support is enforceable by contempt. It’s the most common enforcement of a court order where the Judge can throw a child support obligor in jail for not paying child support. It’s an exception to the rule that you can’t be thrown in jail for a debt. You can be thrown in jail for not paying child support.
For More Information About Child Support. Contact an Experienced Dallas Family Law Attorney.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Plano and Dallas Family Law Attorney, contact Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices at 214-420-1800.