Plano Divorce Attorney • Plano Custody Attorney • Plano Family Attorney • Plano Grandparent Attorney • Plano Restraining Order Attorney
Divorce and Family Law Attorneys serving Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Wylie, Murphy, Fairview, Lucas, and surrounding areas.

Child Support

This page is intended as a very general overview of issues related to child support in a Texas suit affecting the parent child relationship. The statements and information provided on this website are for informational purposes only. This site is not intended to provide legal advice to the reader and NO attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to arise from the receipt of this page. An attorney-client relationship only arises after the attorney and client have signed a written attorney-client agreement, after the attorney has evaluated the background facts provided and has accepted the representation of the client's legal action.

The Family Code contains guidelines for the computation of child support. Those guidelines state what percentage of an obligor's (the parent who is paying child support) net resources should be devoted to child support. “Net resources” is broadly-defined by the Family Code to include income from most any source: employment, interest, dividends, royalties, bonuses, severance pay, retirement benefits, and even unemployment benefits. The percentage applied depends on the number of children involved in the case. The guidelines are as follows:

1 child 20% of obligor's net resources
2 children 25% of obligor's net resources
3 children 30% of obligor's net resources
4 children 35% of obligor's net resources
5 children 40% of obligor's net resources
6 children Not less than the amount for 5 children

These guidelines presume that the children at issue in the case are the only ones for whom the obligor is responsible. If, for instance, the obligor is already paying child support on other children who aren't a part of the case, or if he or she has remarried and had more kids, then the Family Code provides for these guideline percentages to be reduced.

It should also be noted that these guidelines only apply to an obligor whose monthly net resources are $7,500.00 or less. If the obligor's monthly net resources exceed $7,500.00, then the Family Code instructs the judge to apply the guidelines to the first $7,500. The Code gives the judge discretion about how much more, if any, child support to order based on the income that exceeds $7,500.00. But, the Code does say that the obligor cannot be ordered to pay more than the “proven needs of the child.”

The Family Code also requires the obligor to provide health insurance coverage for the children: by enrolling them in the obligor's insurance plan or, if he or she doesn't have one, by reimbursing the obligee for enrolling the children in his or hers. The good news for the child support obligor here is that the cost of providing the health insurance coverage comes out of his or her net resources when the child support guideline percentage is applied.

The child support payments are typically withheld from the obligor's paycheck by his or her employer. The employer will send the child support amounts to a state agency which will make a record of the payment, and then forward the funds on to the obligee. Sometimes, the parent who will be paying child support resents having the money withheld from their paycheck—taking it as an implication that he or she can't be counted on to make the payments voluntarily.

It is possible to have a child support order structured to allow for direct payments, rather than withholding. But it is seldom a good idea. Without withholding, the burden to keep records of child support payments falls to the obligor. These records must be maintained, in detail, often for a considerable length of time. For instance, outside of some unusual circumstances (like the child marrying prior to turning 18 years old), an obligor will be ordered to continue making child support payments until the child turns 18, or graduates from high school, whichever is later. If, at any point in that time, the obligee goes to court and claims “I never received the child support that was ordered”, the obligor will be facing some pretty serious consequences (including jail) if he or she cannot prove they made the payments as ordered.

If you have questions about your support order, or about what can be done to modify it, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation.

Call Us
(972) 836-2068

E-mail Us
Full Name

E-Mail Address
Contact Phone Number
Issue, Description/Questions

Come See Us
101 E. Park Boulevard
Suite 600
Plano, Texas 75074