Child support exists to ensure that no child suffers because their parents are divorced or otherwise not living together. But every child of divorce in Texas does not receive the same amount of support from their non-custodial parent. Every family is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach to child custody would not work.
Instead, like most other states, Texas allows parents to try working out child support on their own, though the family court judge presiding over the divorce must sign off on it. If the parents cannot negotiate a settlement both sides can accept, the judge will have to decide.
Considerations when going off of standard child support
Child support is generally based on each parent’s gross monthly income and the number of children the parties have together. But the state’s child custody statute allows judges to deviate from this figure when necessary to protect the children’s best interests. Reasons a judge might consider ordering more or less than what the standard formula says include:
- The child’s age
- The child’s educational expenses, such as private school tuition or tutoring
- Child care expenses
- Health care costs
As the years go on, your children’s financial needs can change, as can the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay. Either you or your co-parent can go back to court to ask for changes to the support order.
Determining child support is only part of the divorce process. But it’s vital for divorcing parents to reach a level of support that is fair both to the children and the paying parent. Your divorce lawyer will work with you to reach a reasonable and sustainable number.