Do I Have to Pay Child Support?
Do I have to pay child support? If you’re asking this question, you are likely dealing with the uncertainty that comes with a divorce. Or, you are dealing with an ex who is making life difficult relating to your child. Regardless of your situation, the answer to this question is likely the same.
In Texas, judges want to make sure that all children are cared for financially. This is typically done through child support.
It is not uncommon for one parent to have possession of the child for more days in a given month than the other parent. For instance, if there is a “standard possession order” in place, one parent will have the child around 60% of the time. The necessities of a child’s life are expensive. So, child support is intended as a way to combine both parents’ money in order to offset these day-to-day expenses for the parent who is caring for the child more days than the other.
If one parent has possession of the child more than the other parent, Texas family courts are consistent in requiring child support to be paid by the parent with less possession.
If one parent makes more money or has more resources than the other parent, Texas family courts are consistent in requiring child support to be paid by the parent who earns more.
What Does Child Support Cover?
Basically, child support is intended to cover the day-to-day necessities. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Toiletries.
Child support does NOT cover things such as medical expenses, extracurricular activities, or educational costs. Child support does not cover things like tutors, sports or dance entry fees, or anything outside of the normal type of daily living expenses.
How Much Child Support Will I Have to Pay?
Calculating child support can be difficult. The amount is based on your gross monthly resources available. The calculation also takes into consideration the number of children covered by the child support and the number of other children to be cared for.
In short, the amount to be paid depends. The State of Texas has creates “child support guidelines.” These guidelines are the attempt by the Texas legislature to try and put a formula to the calculation of child support in order to best care for a child based on the parent’s ability to provide support.
However, as discussed above, child support is not the only expenses you can expect to pay. Medical expenses and extracurricular costs can require as much money as child support.
In any Order involving the child, read it carefully to determine what your actual costs will be, in addition to child support.