There is a misconception about what child support covers in Texas. Many people believe the payments only cover the very basic necessities of a child’s care, like food and shelter. Child support does cover these expenses, but it covers many more costs related to the child’s care as well.

Shelter expenses may include rental costs, or the cost of mortgage payments. Child support typically also includes the cost of health insurance. However, this will also depend on whether the cost of the insurance is reasonable, and whether coverage can be purchased from another source at a much lower rate. The noncustodial parent is responsible for either providing medical or health insurance coverage to the child, or paying cash to the custodial parent to cover the cost of insuring the child.

How is child support determined in Texas? 

Under Texas law, the noncustodial parent or the parent who spends the least amount of time (less than 50 percent) with the child is responsible for payment of child support.

The courts calculate child support based on parental income. It is determined in accordance with Texas child support guidelines. Parents can mutually agree on the amount of child support that is payable by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. However, the amount agreed upon must not be less than the amount set under the guidelines. In some cases however, courts may make an exception, and may deviate from child support guidelines.

When does a court deviate from Texas child support guidelines?

In some cases, you may ask the court to award you a child support amount that is not in accordance with Texas child support guidelines. There are many costs that child support payments may not cover, and you can ask the court to expand support to include these expenses as well. Typically, child support payments do not automatically include the cost of extracurricular activities, sports coaching, additional tutoring for school, or additional medical or healthcare expenses of the child. In such cases, the custodial parent who is seeking child support can petition the court to award a higher amount of child support in order to factor in these expenses as well. The courts can also grant child support modifications if deemed necessary.

Should I contact a child support lawyer?

If you have questions about the amount of child support that you will qualify for under Texas laws, or want to know how much support you may have to pay, speak to a legal professional at The Texas Divorce Lawyer, and get those answers. Contact The Texas Divorce Lawyer to speak with an attorney today: 214-265-7630.