The state of Texas holds all children deserve to be supported by both their parents, which is why noncustodial parents are required to pay child support.
What is child support?
Child support is money paid to the custodial parent to provide for children’s needs. This money can be used for anything benefitting children, including tuition, extra-curricular fees, clothing, groceries, and more. Either the court, or the parents during mediation, determine the amount of money to be paid each month using a variety of factors.
Once this figure has been determined, payment of it is legally enforceable, which means the custodial parent can sue the noncustodial parent for nonpayment. In these cases, the support is often taken directly out of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck.
Determining child support
The amount of child support to be paid is based on the noncustodial parent’s salary and other assets, as well as the amount of time children spend with custodial parents. The law stipulates a child is entitled to 20 percent of a noncustodial parent’s net resources, and each additional child merits an additional 5 percent, up to 35 percent for four children and 40 percent for five or more children.
The amount of support mandated can change based on children’s needs, such as extra care children may require because of disabilities or special medical attention, and the parent’s capacity. If the noncustodial parent is suspected of being intentionally underemployed to attempt paying less in child support, the court can order support based on earning potential.
Child support is for children
Remember, child support is not about the parents’ relationship with each other. This money should not be used to pay for the custodial parent’s wants, and it is not in any way connected to visitation rights or parental quality. When a noncustodial parent pays child support, he or she is directly contributing to children’s well-being.
If the relationship between parents is contentious, money can be transferred between parties through the Texas Disbursement Unit. Should custodial parents need help pursuing court-mandated financial support, we at Stallings Family Law are able to act on a parent’s behalf.