There is no doubt about it — life will be different after divorce. For divorcing parents in Texas, this could mean a number of things, and the one parent with whom the children spend the bulk of their time might be wondering about child support payments. Not all divorce cases are the same, so it would be wise if both parents sought information pertaining to their unique circumstances and how divorce may impact their kids.
Who receives child support?
A Texas family court will usually award child support to the custodial parent, which is the parent who will have the kids most often even in shared custody arrangements. In most cases, a family court judge determines child support considering the following factors:
- The number of nights the children spend with each parent
- The gross monthly income of each parent
- Payment of work-related childcare expenses by either parent
- Any health insurance premiums paid by a parent for the children
Where payments should be used
Here is a list of common expenses for which child support payments are intended:
- Meeting children’s basic needs including shelter, clothing and food
- Paying for childcare
- Providing entertainment
- Ensuring transportation
- Paying for school supplies
- Covering costs of extracurricular activities and hobbies, such as sports or clubs
When child support is awarded, it usually specifies the sharing of uninsured medical expenses for children and may include provisions for dividing other certain other expenses as well.
If the parents are on good terms, they may be able to negotiate the specifics of child support payments. However, if that is not an option, a Texas family court judge will decide who will be the payor and who will be the payee. In any case, it may be a good idea to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer when there are any questions or concerns about existing or potential child support issues.