What exactly does child support cover in Texas?

If any of you reading this are a parent like I am then you know that raising kids is challenging, shall we say. It’s rewarding, gratifying and at times requires selfless attention but no matter how old your child is it is challenging.

Some of the challenges associated with raising a child are inherent in doing just that. From sleeping through the night to getting homework done to helping a little boy or girl learn to become a young man or woman there are aspects of parenting that we cannot change.

When my wife looks at me with that exasperated face that I’m sure many of you have shared with your spouse at one time or another I will smile and say, “It is what it is.” What I mean by that little phrase is that the situation cannot be changed and the sooner we can accept that and deal with the results the better it will be for us.

On the other hand, something like a divorce can lead us towards additional challenges associated with child rearing that ordinarily we may not have to encounter or deal with. Not only are we losing a care taker, a partner to shoulder the burden of raising the child but our dollars are often stretched thinner than ever to compensate. Another unavoidable truism about a child is that raising one is expensive.

Child support is intended to help even out the responsibilities of raising the child

In Texas, child support is money that is paid by one parent to the other parent to assist in providing for the essentials in that child’s life. If you are the parent that has visitation with your child, meaning that you don’t live with your child during most weeks and instead see him or her on weekends and other pre-designated days, then it is likely that you are responsible for paying child support. The purpose of your paying support is that you see your child less often and therefore have less of a day to day responsibility for paying towards the care of your child.

Your child support obligation is determined by the Texas Family Code in all likelihood as a percentage of your net monthly income adjusted for how many children you are responsible for. In a lot of situations this standard, statutorily based amount of child support is just fine as far as providing for the basic needs of your child. In some instances, however, you may find that your ex spouse has expressed to you that this guidelines support figure is not enough to cover all the costs associated with raising your son or daughter.

When you are concluding your divorce case and it is time to negotiate with your spouse on a child support figure it is critical to understand how far reaching and important a decision it is to agree upon a child support amount. If you are the parent who is set to receive child support you will need to consider every expense possible when you are involved in the negotiation of the child support amount

With that said, nowhere in the Texas Family Code does it cover exactly what child support is supposed to pay for. By the same token, there is no way to insure that the child support you pay to your ex spouse actually goes towards the care and maintenance of your child.

I have had many clients in the past ask me if there is some way, some mechanism that can be put in place to watch over the child support money and see to it that it is spent on caring for the child. While I understand the sentiment and appreciate the fact that you (like these prior clients) may not trust your soon to be ex-spouse all that much, there is no watchdog set up to keep track of child support money.

I’ll often explain that the government isn’t all that good to begin with at keeping track of how it spends money- imagine how poorly a job it could do at keeping track of how you or your ex spouse spends money.

Examples of what child support is intended to help provide your child with:

Necessities such as food, shelter and clothes

This is all pretty self explanatory. These are the sort of things an old school, no non-sense parent would even have to agree with. Without food to eat, a roof over their heads and clothes on their back a child cannot do well in school or become well developed physically or emotionally. Whether it’s help paying a mortgage or buying the week’s groceries, child support can be applied to these basic needs of your child.


Public school is not free. Private school is certainly not free. While not every family has an option as to where their child can attend class, there are costs associated with a child’s education no matter at what school he or she learns.

Books, musical instruments, school supplies, costs associated with playing sports, or homecoming dance tickets are a few of the many additional costs of attending school for a child. If your child has a developmental issue or just needs a little extra help in a certain subject, tutoring is an expense for you to consider as well.

Medical care

The third main area that child support is intended to help assist paying for is medical care. If you are getting a divorce in Texas, your judge will require that either you or your spouse provide health insurance for the child.

If you cannot provide the insurance and the child has to be covered by Medicaid then you will be expected to reimburse the State for the cost of insuring your child. In addition, child support can help pay for things like deductibles as well as co pays when it comes to covering your child with health insurance.

Do you have additional questions on child support? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we take pride in representing clients across southeast Texas. If after reading this blog post you have additional questions please contact us today in order to set up a free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

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  4. Child Support Modification in Texas (Part 1)
  5. What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
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  8. Texas Child Support Appeals
  9. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  10. Texas Child Support – Trust and Annuities
  11. Special Needs Children in Texas Child Support Cases
  12. How to get above guideline child support.

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Tomball, Texas Child Support Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child support, it’s important to speak with one of our Tomball, TX Child Support Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child supportlawyers in Tomball TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles child supportcases in Tomball, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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