What is Child Support?
Child support is money that one parent pays to the other parent in order to provide for the child’s needs, such as food, clothing, school supplies, housing, daycare, or activities. For more information, visit the Texas Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division. View an introductory video about the child support court process called Understanding the Court Process.
Child Support Guidelines
According to the Texas Family Code, child support is based on the noncustodial parent’s net resources and the number of children he or she is supporting. Net resources are not take-home pay. For child support purposes, net resources equals the total earnings, minus Social Security taxes, income taxes for a single person, the child’s portion of the health insurance, cash medical support, union dues, and non-discretionary retirement contributions if the obligor does not pay Social Security taxes. Judges use a Monthly Child Support Calculator when setting up an original order for child support.
Texas law sets the following general guidelines for child support payment. The percentage is applied to the net resources of the noncustodial parent:
- 20% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 30% for three children
- 35% for four children
- 40% for five children.
- Not less than 40% for six or more children.
Special rules apply if you have children in more than one household.
Child support payments go to the Texas State Disbursement Unit, typically by automatic wage withholding. The SDU gives credit for the payment that comes in and records when it goes out to the other parent. If your order directs you to pay another way, it may go to the:
Texas State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
PO Box 659791
San Antonio, TX 78265-9791