Issues with respect to the financial obligations of parents are addressed in the initial divorce decree, but that doesn’t guarantee circumstances won’t change or obligations will be met. Child support is usually granted to the “custodial” parent, or the parent who has legal custody of the child, and is paid by the “non-custodial parent,” or parent with whom the child does not primarily reside. Custodial parent may litigate because:

  • Parent ordered to pay support is not making payments according to schedule and/or amount ordered.
  • Support payment is too low, due to promotion or other improvement of economic status of the paying parent.

Non-custodial parent may go to court because:

  • Support payment is now too high, due to loss of job or economic status.
  • Support is going to parent with whom child no longer primarily resides.


In situations where the parent ordered to pay child support fails to do so according to the requirements outlined in the divorce decree, the parent to whom payments are owed has the right to request enforcement of the divorce decree. Enforcement measures can be used to
collect past-due and regularly-scheduled support payments. These methods may include deducting support from the delinquent parent’s earnings, filing liens against his or her property, or even sending the parent to jail until they pay up.

Child Support Questions

How Much Will The Child Support Be?
A The Texas Family Code has guideline percentages which apply to the first $6,000.00 of the non-custodial parent’s income. If the child has proven special needs, then additional support may be warranted.
What Are The Percentages?
A The following percentages are presumed to be appropriate:

Number of Children % of Net Resources

  • 1 child 20%
  • 2 children 25%
  • 3 children 30%
  • 4 children 35%
  • 5 children 40%
  • 6 or more children Not less than 40%
If Child Support Is Based On “Net Income,” Why Does My Attorney Want To Know What My “Gross Monthly Income” Is?
A Attorneys either use a chart provided by the Texas State Attorney General or they may have special legal software to assist them in determining what the “net monthly income” is for the purposes of child support. This amount is based on the obligor’s “net gross monthly income.”
What Does “Income” Include?
A Salary, Severance Pay, Commissions, Retirement Benefits, Overtime, Pensions, Tips, Trust Income, Bonuses, Annuities, Dividends, Capital Gains, Self-Employment Income, Social Security, Net Rental Income, Unemployment Benefits, Interest Income, Gifts or Prizes, Spousal Maintenance, Alimony.
What Goes Into The Calculation (Child Support Calculator) Of Net Resources?
A The Texas Court uses the total amount of money receives by the person obligated to pay child support from all of the sources listed above and then subtracts social security taxes and federal taxes (using one deduction), state income tax (if any), union dues and the cost of the health insurance for the child.
What If The Obligor Has Other Children To Support, Other Than The Children Of The Marriage?
A Instead of using the regular percentages, the Texas Court may reduce the amount of child support by giving consideration to the number of children before the Court and the number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support.
What If The Person Who Should Pay Child Support Is Not Working?
A The Texas Court will still order a minimum amount of child support to be paid each month.
Will The Court Waive The Child Support Requirement If My Spouse Agrees To It?
A There would need to be a very serious reason for the Texas Court to allow waiving child support. Generally, the right to “waive” the support is construed to belong to the child and not to the parent with whom the child lives. Since the child, obviously, is not competent to make this kind of decision, the Court is very reluctant to allow child support to be waived.

The Texas Court always considers the “best interest of the child” standard”, and is very serious about the obligation of a parent to support his or her child.

What Is A “Wage Withholding Order”?
A This is provided to an employer which results in an amount of child support being deducted from the employee’s salary every time he or she receives a paycheck.

The money is forwarded to the Texas State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio, which, in turn, sends the payments out to the party who receives the support.

Is Child Support Taxable Income?
A No, it is not income to the recipient and is not deductible by the person paying it.
My Employer Has One Cost For Health Insurance For The Employee And One Cost For The Employee And His Or Her Family?
A Even though your health plan may be set up in this manner, your Human Resources contact person will be able to tell you the exact cost of medical insurance for the child alone.

One quick telephone call to your employer will get you this extremely important piece of information.

What If The Children Do Not Have Any Health Insurance?
A The Texas Court is very concerned about the ability of children to have access to adequate medical care, and will order that medical insurance is obtained and paid for by one of the parties, normally the same party who pays child support.