How does child support work in Texas?


In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division provides services to both custodial and noncustodial parents. This department creates and modifies child support orders as well as enforces these orders when lack of payment occurs, with the goal of ensuring that children in the state receive necessary financial support from both parents whenever possible.

If you are a parent who wants to establish paternity, locate your child's other parent or establish a legal child support order, you can apply online for child support services.

Understanding support calculations

Usually, the noncustodial parent pays child support based on his or her net monthly income. In Texas, the parent with fewer parenting days each year is the noncustodial parent. State guidelines generally calculate child support as follows:

  • One child: 20% of net income
  • Two children: 25% of net income
  • Three children: 30% of net income
  • Four children: 35% of net income
  • Five or more children: 40% of net income (state maximum)

Applying for support

After you have completed an online application or mailed a paper application, the agency will schedule you and your child's other parent for a mandatory Child Support Review Process meeting. At this session, you will both meet with a child support officer who will help you negotiate an agreement based on state guidelines, an existing custody order, both parents' specific financial situation and other factors. If an agreement arises from this meeting, the judge will receive a copy for approval, and the legal order will take effect.

Overcoming obstacles

When parents cannot agree in the CSRP meeting, the next step is a court hearing in which a judge will moderate further negotiation. The court will schedule the hearing and notify the parents by mail. Both parents must attend the hearing. Whether or not you and the other parent reach an agreement at the hearing, the judge will establish a legally binding child support order based on the presented information.

Your child deserves the monetary support of both parents. Start building him or her a bright financial future with the help of Texas child support services.

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