Baylor Family Law
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Child support in Texas is usually paid by the parent who does not choose the child's primary home. The parent receiving child support is therefore the parent in whose home the child primarily lives. The amount of child support ordered to be paid may vary based on number of children, amount of income earned by the paying parent, and visitation schedule among other things. Retro-active child support may be ordered for up to 48 months before the child support case is filed with the court. Child support arrearage may be ordered if the paying parent falls behind on child support payments that have previously been ordered by a court.
Unless the court determines a child is disabled, child support will be ordered to be paid every month until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school (whichever occurs later), marries, dies, or is emancipated (declared an adult) by court order. The child support order may state that the payments are due on the 1st of each month, but the paying parent's employer may actually pay a portion out of each paycheck. If the child is found to be disabled, the court may order the paying parent to pay child support for life.
Child support may also include the paying parent being ordered to provide health and dental insurance for the child. If the child is covered through CHIP or Medicaid, the paying parent may be ordered to pay "cash medical", which may be either the cost of insuring the child through one of these programs or a percentage of the paying parent's income.
Texas law allows child support to be modified throughout the child's life. This helps the paying parent in the event of a lost job, injury/disability, or reduced income. At the same time, it protects the child's right to receive increases in support when the paying parent gets a raise or a better job.