How Much Should A Father Pay In Child Support?

Mothers, just like fathers, may question the amount they must pay in child support. If you have been through the Texas family law courts fighting for help for your children, you will be familiar with how the process works. Without a court order for child support, neither parent has an obligation to make payments. Starting in a Texas family law court begins if you have no charges in place but are in need.

Once a judge orders a parent to provide child support, there isn’t much room for deviation from this order. Some parents might question the ordered amount of child support, but it’s crucial to note that the amount wasn’t randomly chosen.

To begin, you will need to understand why child support is ordered, what it covers, and who will be awarded the child support in your Texas family law case.

Who Pays Child Support & What Is It For?

The noncustodial parent, or the parent who does not have custody of the child the majority of the time, is the parent who is responsible for paying child support. They are known as “obligors,” legally bound to the custodial parent to pay child support. The custodial parent is the parent who has custody of the child the majority of the time.

If you’ve been ordered to pay child support, understand that it’s collected for the child’s best interest. In Texas, we apply the “Best Interest of the Child” standard to determine orders for conservatorship, possession and access, and child support.

You pay child support to cover the necessities of your child’s life. These include shelter, clothing, and food. Although all your child support will cover other nonessential, necessary expenses can include uninsured medical costs, educational fees, or extracurricular expenses. As custodial parents receiving child support, they will likely work to make all of these expenses work within what they are receiving in child support and their equal contributions to the child’s resources.

Texas Child Support Guidelines

As it is with every state, Texas has its rigid statutory guidelines to calculate how much child support a parent should be paying. There are only guidelines, and every case has different circumstances and factors to consider when ordering child support. A judge retains the authority to order child support below or above the guidelines, depending on the circumstances. The parties themselves can also agree upon an amount deviating from the guidelines.

The calculation considers a percentage of the obligor’s monthly net income up to the first $9,200 per month of that income. The authorities revised the maximum net income in September 2019 and will adjust it every six years as the economy changes. Calculate the monthly net income by deducting all deductions from the obligor’s monthly gross income. These deductions can include federal income taxes, union dues, medicare and social security taxes, and insurance premiums.

After you have calculated your net monthly income depending on how many children you have, how much of your net monthly payment will go as child support. A breakdown of the rates per child are as follows:

Number of Children

Support Percentage









If you have over four children, the child support will be calculated at 40% of your net monthly income.

What If I Don’t Have A Job?

Most parents believe that if they don’t have a job, they will have no obligation to pay child support. However, this could not be false. The Texas Family Code Section 154.068 states that a parent with no net resources can represent income equal to the minimum wage for a standard 40-hour workweek.

What If I Decide Not to Pay My Child Support?

If you violate your child support order, the custodial parent can proceed through any child support enforcement options. These enforcements can include fines, jail time, or garnishment of wages. To prevent child support payments from going unpaid, individuals can take steps to ensure that court orders are followed.

  1. Withholding Wages– The parent’s employer is notified to automatically withhold the parent’s child support amounts from their wages. The child support office then disburses that money to the custodial parent.
  2. Contempt– The violating parent can face contempt charges, resulting in potential jail time and community supervision for up to 5 years. Additionally, the court may order them to pay the attorney fees incurred during the enforcement action.
  3. Money Judgements– The amount of unpaid child support can be reduced to many judgments that accumulate interest.
  4. License Suspension– If you fail to pay child support for more than 90 days, the courts can order the suspension of any license you have.

How Can I Get My Child Support Amount Changed?

If significant changes in circumstances, such as job loss, affect your ability to pay child support, you may qualify for modification. In this modification, a family law judge will assess circumstances that may warrant a reduction in your child support. Any changes in child support payments that a judge has not ordered could land you in a bit of trouble. Therefore, you should handle all legalities concerning your children in a court of law.

In summary, the court orders child support because it’s in the best interest of your child. Your payments will contribute to giving your child a stable childhood. With an understanding of how child support will be calculated, you can confidently prioritize your child’s welfare.

If you still have questions about your child support or need help clarifying what your child support order means, please do not hesitate to contact our office to set up your FREE 30-minute consultation. Our expert attorneys will be glad to serve you and help you with all your family law matters. Thank you for reading into today’s blog.


undefined If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “Child Custody E-Book”

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Frequently Asked Questions – Child Support

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