Texas Child Support Laws and Guidelines

The laws governing child support in Texas are different from that of other states. Texas child support law sets how much the child support should be, and the duration of such payments, plus it seeks to guide parents in exceptional cases such as deviation, support for disabled children, and retroactive support.

As you may already know, child support (or child maintenance) is a continuous monetary payment made by a spouse to another spouse, guardian, caregiver,  or the state for the upkeep of children after a divorce or separation.

The person who is required to pay child support is referred to as the “obligor,” whereas the person who is eligible to receive child support is referred to as the “obligee.”

The obligee is typically always the person who has primary custody of the child, which means the person who lives with the child, pays the majority of the living expenses, and has primary custody of the child.

The obligor is typically always the spouse who doesn’t have primary custody of the children and may or may not have custody or access to them.


The Texas child support laws are based on the percentage of income model, allowing them to reach $759 support implemented via statutes.

Tx also has a family code that guides all the decisions about child support and is enforced by the attorney general child support services. A failure to pay child support can lead to criminal penalties.

In Texas, the person who pays child support is called the obligor. Commonly, these are non-custodial fathers. These are fathers who do not live with their children and may or may not have visitation rights. On the other end of the equation, is the person who receives child support payments. This person is called the obligee.

Usually, this is the person who has legal and physical custody of the child. This individual is not necessarily the mother. It can be a grandparent or a legal guardian. Whatever the case may be, the obligee is the person who is legally entitled to collect support payments for the benefit of the child.

Such a right is rooted in the best interest of the child. There are Texas child support guidelines that are used to address child support issues and to calculate the child support amount owed by the obligee. The state provides a child support calculator to assess the amount correctly.

How is child support calculated in TX?

Like in the child support laws of other states, there is a minimum amount set according to the child support Texas guidelines, and deviations from these minimum guidelines can be considered based on certain factors. The net monthly income of the obligor is determined and used as the basis for further computations depending on that person’s income.

For example, in Child support texas, the obligor makes below $7500 a month. The court will check how many children the obligor is supporting. It will also check how many children need provision. They will then assign a percentage of that income to go to child support. The figures will change if the net monthly income rises above $7500.

The obligee can seek more support depending on the changing needs of the children who require assistance. For example, if the kids need tutoring or engage in extracurricular activities that have individual costs, the obligee can go to the court and ask for more support.

Similarly, if the child experiences a medical emergency or develops a specific condition and suffers medical expenses; as a result, the court will listen to petitions for support adjustment.

Finally, schooling expenses are typically allowed by the court when it comes to the modification of payments.

Deviations from the Texas child support agreement

TX subscribes to the best interest of the child principle, and this is the cornerstone of any kind of deliberation and decision-making regarding child support discussions. Accordingly, any type of deviation from the agreement entered into by both parties will be guided by the best interest of the child principle.

Deviations consider all factors, including statutory ones. A child support attorney is better suited to explain gray areas. Here are some of the reasons that are often at play in Texas:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Special education
  3. Childcare
  4. Available financial resources to the obligee as well as to the obligor
  5. Obligor’s access to the child
  6. Amount of time obligor spends with the child
  7. Obligor’s ability to contribute
  8. The child’s age and basic needs

Exceptional cases for child support in Texas

In certain individual cases, the Texas child support formula is modified to take care of particular needs that can arise given the right set of circumstances. Here are just three of the most common causes.

Disabled child

In reaching an order in tx child support cases, the court may order support for an indefinite period if the child is mentally disabled and cannot support himself or herself financially even after they turn eighteen years of age.

Generally, child support ends when a child turns eighteen. However, if the court finds the supported child will not be able to financially self-support, the obligor’s payments may extend indefinitely.

Health insurance

This case may be included in the child support agreement if there is no way for the child to obtain affordable coverage. For instance, if the obligee or the primary custodian of the child isn’t working and can’t get group health insurance from organizations, unions, trade associations, or employers, then the obligor is on the hook for this expense.

Retroactive support

If it can be established in court that the father knows about the child and has tried to avoid paying support, the court has the right to order retroactive payments for child support for up to four years. The obligee has to prove justification if retroactive payments are requested beyond four years

State Child Support Laws and Guidelines

A - Alabama  |  AlaskaArizonaArkansas
C - CaliforniaColoradoConnecticut
D-H - DelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaii
I - IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
K-L - KansasKentuckyLouisiana
M - MaineMarylandMassachusetts |  Michigan |  Minnesota |  Mississippi |  Missouri |  Montana
N - Nebraska |  Nevada |  New Hampshire |  New Jersey |  New Mexico |  New York |  North Carolina |  North Dakota
O - Ohio |  Oklahoma |  Oregon
P-S - Pennsylvania |  Rhode Island |  South Carolina |  South Dakota
T-U - Tennessee |  Texas |  Utah
V-W - Vermont |  Virginia |  Washington |  West Virginia |  Wisconsin |  Wyoming