How Child Support Works in Texas

Child support is a major aspect of any custody matter or divorce whether you will pay it or receive it. While there are guidelines in Texas for how much child support a parent should pay or receive, it is possible to deviate from these standards.

At Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC, in Waco, we strive to help you obtain a fair and favorable outcome by effectively telling your story.

What Does the Child Support Calculator Include?

The first part of determining child support obligations is to complete the state's support calculator. To get a baseline amount, this worksheet takes a number of factors into consideration, including:

  • Your income
  • The frequency of your paycheck
  • Whether you are paying for your child's health insurance
  • Any other child support obligations you have, including the number of children you are supporting and how much you pay each month

When Can You Deviate from the Standard Guidelines?

If the calculator produces a number that you are not happy with — or you don't feel is fair — you can seek to deviate from it. Some common reasons to seek a different amount are:

  • The child has significant financial needs. Whether because of a medical condition or something else, if there are extra costs involved in supporting your child, you can seek a higher payment.
  • You have substantial debt. In order to be effective, child support has to be affordable to the parent who is ordered to pay it. If you have significant debts or are going through bankruptcy, for example, it may be possible to seek a lower obligation.
  • You spend a lot of time with your child. The more time you spend with your child, the lower the expenses of your child's other parent are likely to be. For example, if you watch your child while their other parent is at work, it saves money on child care. Situations like this can be reason to lower your support obligations.

While deviating from a baseline child support number is possible, it is not easy. It requires an effective explanation of why support payments should be adjusted and evidence to support it.

The ability to handle this skillfully is what sets our firm apart. When you work with us, your attorney will take the time to get to know you. They will ask questions and dig for evidence that supports an argument in your favor. We are relentless in our effort to achieve a fair outcome, and we are ready to fight for you when you need it most.

Meet Your Lawyer in a Free Consultation

To arrange a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys, please call us at 254-633-3048 or fill out a contact form online. We serve clients in McLennan County and the surrounding areas of Texas.