Child support is money that a parent pays to another person to help support his or her child. All parents have a legal duty to financially support their children. This legal duty exists even if there is no court order for child support.
In Texas, parent is a legal term. A parent is the child’s biological mother AND a man who is either:
- Presumed to be the child’s father (married to the child’s mother when the child is born), OR
- Legally determined to be the child’s biological father, OR
- Signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity,
Or an adoptive mother or father. Texas Family Code, Section 101.024.
A Texas court may order a parent to support his or her child until the child turns 18 years-old, graduates from high school (whichever occurs later), marries, dies, or is emancipated (declared an adult) by court order. If the child is disabled, the court may order a parent to financially support the child indefinitely.
The amount of child support you are entitled to receive (or obligated to pay) will depend on the noncustodial parent’s (the parent that is not the primary residential parent) net income and how many children he or she is responsible for supporting. Usually, a parent who does not have primary custody of the child is expected to pay child support. The parent who is ordered to pay child support is called the Obligor. A court may also consider other factors such as whether the child has any special needs (any disabilities, etc.), the independent resources and needs of the child and custodial parent and maintaining the child’s current standard of living.
The attorneys at The Pinkerton Law Firm work closely with our clients to pursue workable child custody and support arrangements. We are committed to helping paying parents hold their payment obligations to levels they can reasonably afford, and helping receiving parents obtain the financial support their children need.