What Is Child Support Technically Supposed to Be Used for in Texas?

By Brenna Davis

Child support is money paid by a noncustodial parent to cover a portion of the child's expenses. Texas child support payments are based on the income of the noncustodial parent, but a custodial parent may seek an increase in child support to cover some things, such as extraordinary medical expenses. Child support can be used to cover a number of expenses, and the custodial parent has broad discretion in determining how to use child support.

Calculations

In Texas, child support is based on the payer's income. Parents with one child pay 20 percent of their income, with the amount increasing with each additional child. Employers must deduct child support directly from a payer's paycheck. County child support agencies collect the child support funds and then disburse them to the custodial parent.

Child Support Uses

Parents may use child support to cover a broad array of expenses associated with the child. These include educational, health care and housing expenses, as well as family utility bills, mortgage payments, travel expenses, clothing and food. Child support payments do not have to be kept separate from other household money, and the payer does not have to consent to expenses child support covers.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Parental Discretion

Texas law grants broad discretion to payees in determining how to use child support. For example, if child support is used to cover the mortgage, this is not a misuse of funds because it is presumed that the parent uses this money to house the child. Child support may also be considered a reimbursement for expenses already paid. Thus, if a parent uses part of a child support payment to pay for a vacation or other discretionary expense, this is not a misuse because that parent may have already paid for the child's expenses with her own money. Unless the child is being neglected, and her basic expenses are not covered, the parent may use the child support payment as she pleases.

Child Support Misuse

You may not simply stop paying child support simply because you disagree with how the money is being used. Doing so could result in contempt charges, wage garnishments and late fees. It is very difficult to prove that support is not being used to pay for a child's expenses unless the child is being neglected. Because child support is considered a fundamental right of children, Texas does not take the payee's income into account. Noncustodial parents must support their children, even if this results in the custodial parent having "extra" money.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
What Does Child Support Typically Pay For?
 

References

Related articles

Ohio Child Support Laws for Public Assistance

Ohio child support laws are meant to ensure that both parents contribute to a child's financial needs after divorce. The state also ensures that children receive adequate support, particularly when parents lack sufficient financial resources to accomplish this themselves. In response to Federal legislation mandating a state disbursement unit for collecting and disbursing child support payments, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services developed the Child Support Enforcement Agency, which establishes and enforces support orders for parents that are receiving public assistance. There are branches of the CSEA in all Ohio counties.

How Often Can You Check an Ex-Spouse's Income for Child Support in North Carolina?

Child support is awarded to a custodial parent to assist with the expense of raising a child. The non-custodial parent is legally obligated to pay once a court has ordered it. Although the court makes a determination on the amount of child support at the time child support is awarded, the order can be modified at a later date due to a change in circumstances, such as when an ex-spouse’s income increases.

How to Request Arrears for Child Support in Texas

Parents in Texas have several options to ensure they receive the financial support they need to raise their children following a divorce. To enforce an existing support order, you may independently file a motion with the court for enforcement or hire a private collection agency or attorney, which will likely take a fee or percentage of the support owed. Texas also has state resources to help residents collect child support.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Not Claim Child Support in Texas

Although a parent may have very compelling reasons for not wanting to accept child support from her ex, Texas will not ...

How to Split Expenses for Kids in a Divorce

Both parents are obligated to provide financial support to their children during and following a divorce. Child support ...

What Does Child Support Cover?

Child support payments are a ubiquitous feature of divorce decrees for parents of minor children. Non-custodial parents ...

What Is the Maximum Amount of Child Support in Maryland?

A divorce does not end a parent's duty to financially support his children. In Maryland, child support is calculated ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED