Every parent has an obligation to financially support his or her children. Typically, the Court orders the non-custodial parent, which is the parent that doesn’t not have primary custody, to pay the custodial parent child support to help offset child rearing expenses. Child support can be determined by applying the obligor’s income to the Texas child support guidelines, which can be found on the Office of the Attorney General website.

These guidelines require that the noncustodial parent pay 20% of his or her net income for the first child, then an additional 5% of his or her net income per additional child up to 5 children. If there are 5 children in a case, the noncustodial parent would be required to pay 40% of his or her net income as child support. An unemployed or underemployed parent is still required to pay child support. That parent may have income imputed to them. That means, the Court will determine the income amount to use to calculate child support based on that parent’s background, skills, and education. Child support payments are made through the State Disbursement Unit because the OAG oversees the account. A failure to pay child support can lead to a finding of contempt, which may include penalties, such as jail.