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Texas child support basics

Providing financial support for one's child is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when money is tight after going through a divorce. However, in order to make sure that children have their basic needs met, the state of Texas has certain child support guidelines in place to which parents must abide. This week's column will give a brief overview of child support basics.

In Texas, one or both parents may be ordered to provide financial support for the benefit of their child. It all depends on the custody arrangement reached and the incomes of both parties. Support is to be paid until:

  • The child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school
  • The child is emancipated
  • The child dies before aging out

The amount of child support to be paid to the custodial parent will be determined by the incomes of both parents, the needs of the child or children and the number of children requiring support -- among other factors. Child support may be paid in a lump-sum payment, periodic payments, an annuity purchase, setting property aside or any combination of these options. Money is to be sent to an approved depository, then the state will forward it on to the custodial parent.

If a child support is not paid, enforcement options may be utilized by the custodial parent in an effort to collect. These include wage garnishment, confiscating tax refunds, credit reporting and even jail time -- among others. For those who cannot make their support payments, seeking an order modification before it gets to that point is wise.

There is a lot more to Texas child support than can be mentioned here. Those who have questions about it may turn to an experienced family law attorney who will be able to provide answers that are specific to their situations. With help, it is possible to achieve a support order that works with parent's income levels and still provides for the affected child.

Source:, "Family Code Chapter 154. Child Support", Accessed on July 18, 2017

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