The basics of child support in Texas.

For separating couples with minor children in Fort Worth, Texas, child support will be an issue during the separation. For those facing this issue, some background on what child support means is appropriate.

Child support serves several purposes. First, it attempts to maintain a standard of living for the child. In addition, it attempts to keep children from a destitute state and limit instances of public assistance. Finally, it attempts to ensure that both parents take financial responsibility for the minor child.

Child support in Texas means a payment from one parent to another for the benefit of a minor child. Marriage between the parents is not needed to create a child support obligation, nor is a long relationship. Becoming a biological parent is a sufficient relationship to create an obligation.

Most states use guidelines to calculate support based on the income of the parents. A percentage of income calculation may be used. Income includes wages, profits from business, interest and dividends. If there are multiple children, a lower percentage of income for each child is utilized but the overall percentage is generally higher.

Child support is intended to be used for the benefit of the child and not the custodial parent. It can be used for food, clothing, daycare, medical expenses and other items related to raising the child. Items specific to the custodial parent, such as jewelry, travel, or clothing for the parent are generally prohibited. In extreme cases, a court can penalize a parent for abuse of child support payments.

Neither custodial nor noncustodial parents should ignore a child support issue. Courts usually put a priority on establishing support and enforcement of the obligation. For those confused about how it is calculated or how support is established, a consultation with a Fort Worth domestic attorney may be advisable.

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