Child support is a monthly payment paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to contribute to the cost of rearing a child following a separation, divorce, or birth of a child. If you have a child the state believes it is your legal duty to support that child. Child support should provide compensation for the basic needs of the child. To obtain child support the custodial parent may have to petition for support in the state court where they live. If there is a question about the paternity of a child the majority of states require a blood test to confirm the identity of the father.
How will the child support amount be determined in Texas?
If you live in the state of Texas the child support amount is calculated by multiplying the non-custodial parent’s net income by a statutory percentage. But prior to calculating the net income you will need to deduct certain exempt payments from the gross income including union dues, Social Security taxes, federal income tax, and health insurance premiums. Divide the total by 12 to calculate the net income per month.
After you calculate the total net income per month you will need to multiple that number by the percentage multiplier per child. This number will be higher the more children you are supporting. For instance, if you have one child you will multiply the monthly net income by 20%, 2 children you will multiply the monthly net income by 25%, 3 children by 30% and 4 children by 35%.
Will there be add-on child support expenses?
Some parents who are paying child support each month may also be required to pay for other expenses such as medical insurance. If both parents are working and making similar incomes the costs for medical expenses not covered by health insurance may be divided equally between each parent. If one parent is making more than the other parent they may be responsible for paying for health care expenses.
What can child support be spent on?
There are no federal or state laws which outline what child support can be used to purchase. Unfortunately, if you are paying child support to your ex-spouse there is no guarantee that the money will be spent the way you want, but the hope is that the money will be used to pay for the child’s necessities including housing, food, and clothing. If there is money left over the custodial parent then should use the money to pay for other expenses such as a car for an older child or extra-curricular activities.
Custodial parents will not have to provide any type of record of how the child support payments are spent. If the custodial parent is using the child support money for their own personal needs to the detriment of the child and the child is neglected, you may be able to get the court to intervene. But generally the family courts do not get involved.
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