Child support is a protection for children who are living with divorced parents. The goal of support is to provide them with enough financial support to have the same living conditions as a child who lives in a home with two parents and two incomes.

As a parent who may need to pay or seek support, you need to understand how to determine the amount of support needed and that can be paid.

How is child support determined? What factors influence support?

Child support is determined by looking at many factors in the case. Texas’ child support guidelines consider a few things including:

  • The kind of custody order that is in place and how often a child sees each parent
  • Whether alimony is being paid or not
  • The number of children who are involved in the divorce
  • The resources each parent has access to

The state does have a child support calculator that can be used to estimate how much a parent may pay. Remember, the court must approve a payment, so it could differ from estimates from support calculators.

Is child support always paid by one parent?

Unless you and your spouse work out a different agreement, the state does take a percentage of income regardless of how much the paying parent earns. This child support is meant to cover or support:

  • The child’s health insurance
  • Educational expenses
  • Extraordinary expenses
  • Food, shelter or basic necessities of the child

Whether you need to pay support or want to seek it, it’s smart to have a good idea about your financial situation to make an argument for what you want to see happen. Your attorney will work with you to make sure any outcome is fair based on your situation.