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How are child support payments determined in Texas?

When the parents of a child are not living in the same household, it's important that the child is not denied the benefits of having two parents. In order for the child to have the resources he or she needs, the noncustodial parent is often required to make child support payments.

Child support payments are determined by a person's net income, in addition to Texas' child support guidelines. Noncustodial parents in Texas making child support payments for one child will pay 20 percent of his or her income to the child. For noncustodial parents supporting two children, the child support payments increase to 25 percent of the parent's net income. Three children require 30 percent of a noncustodial parent's income; four children require 35 percent; and five or more children requires 40 percent of a noncustodial parent's net income.

Noncustodial parents who are not working are still required to pay child support. In order to receive the most fair child support payment calculation, providing the most up-to-date income information to a judge is crucial. For a parent making child support payments, a judge will also take into consideration whether or not that parent has other children living in his or her household.

For parents who cannot afford to pay the entire child support payment one month, it is important to make part of the payment. Partial payments show that an effort is being made. Complete failure to pay child support means that interest will start accruing, and more money will be owed in the long run.

For parents who are seeking delinquent child support payments, or parents who are seeking child support modification, speaking with a family law attorney may be beneficial. It's important to ensure that the child support payment calculations are accurate, to ultimately ensure the child is able to live a happy and healthy life.

Source: Texas Attorney General, "Handbook For Noncustodial Parents," accessed on Sept. 22, 2014

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