After the wedding is over and the guests are long gone, many people find themselves ready for parenthood. Although it’s riddled with dirty diapers, long nights, little sleep, and scant time for the parents, the joys of parenthood are many.
Children are a blessing and can bring joy to any home. Unfortunately, when the bonds of marriage begin to break down it can leave children in the wake. In many cases, when divorce is a reality, the children will have one main caregiver.
Whether it’s the mom or the dad, the parent who doesn’t have primary custody is considered the noncustodial parent and the State recognizes they are still responsible for the care of the children. Although the noncustodial parent typically doesn’t have the children as much, they are still financially responsible for taking care of them.
Children are expensive. The high cost of diapers in infancy to team sports for older kids keeps rising, along with everything in between. The State of Texas understands this and, in most cases, will award the custodial parent child support to be paid by the noncustodial parent. Prior to divorce, couples can agree on the amount themselves but if that isn’t an option the state will step in.
In most cases, the state will take 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s salary for one child, and the percentage goes up as the number of children goes up. This isn’t set in stone as there may be other factors to take into consideration, but it’s a good overall estimate of what to expect if you’re facing divorce. Use our Texas child support calculator for a more granular estimate.
The money for child support is taken directly out of the noncustodial parent’s check and given to the local county. Once they receive the money, they will turn it over to the custodial parent, so there’s no need for the parent to worry about when the money will arrive or if they will get it at all. In the case of a noncustodial parent changing jobs, the child support will need to be acquired from the new employer so there may be a short lag time in this type of situation.
What Is Child Support Used for In Texas?
No two children are alike, and no two children cost the same amount, but it does cost a significant amount of money to raise them. Parents face the traditional bills like food, shelter, and clothing, but there’s often many more expenses.
Medical bills are on the rise as are utility bills. Mortgages and rent aren’t cheap, but necessary. The courts take all these things into consideration when making decisions about what child support covers. So, what is child support money supposed to be used for? Just about anything it takes to pay for while raising a child.
The courts won’t determine specific requirements when deciding on child support uses. They understand the myriad of costs involved in parenting and they never give any specifics as to what the child support should or shouldn’t cover. That would be a daunting task for the courts and take significant manpower and time to keep track of, so they leave it to the best judgement of the custodial parent.
Examples of What Child Support Covers in Texas
What does child support cover in Texas? It usually starts with the basics. Children need many of the same things that parents need:
- a home to live in
- three meals a day
- clothing and shoes as they get worn out or they grow out of them
These are all basic needs and using child support money to pay for them is allowed and expected.
Outside of the necessities, children often need money for school projects, co-pays for doctor visits, school photos and yearbooks, scout dues, sports equipment, camps, transportation, dances like homecoming and prom, and for younger children, daycare or before/after school care. While these costs aren’t exorbitant, they add up over the long run.
Why You Need an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Texas
Divorce in Texas is never easy, even when the couple is on good terms and want to do what is best for the children. Having experienced Houston divorce lawyers on your side means you can deal with the stress of breaking up without having to deal with the stress of going to court alone or feeling like you’re in this with no support.
An experienced Houston child custody lawyer will ensure you get a fair amount for raising your children until they are adults. In some cases, who pays how much for college and future needs can also be determined. The courts will also decide which parent will carry the children on their health and dental insurance. Doing this often means an addition cost from employers, so it’s important to fight for what is fair.
The Moffett Law Firm child custody lawyers understand this and press the courts for the maximum you deserve for your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers.