The focus of state and federal child support laws is to establish standards and guidelines that are in the child’s best interest and ensure that children of separated or divorced parents receive certain basic necessities.
Basic necessities included in base child support calculations are things like shelter, food, clothing and medical coverage. Several expenses contribute to these costs such as mortgage or rent, utilities, doctor visits, meals and school supplies.
Each state has guidelines that determine the range of child support that needs to be paid by parents based on their incomes and expenses. Texas statutes do not define everything included in the term “needs,” but courts have interpreted child support coverage to be more than just bare necessities. Custodial parents, however, must present evidence about a child’s additional needs such as special educational programs or other activities.
Expect the Unexpected
While parents may feel frustrated when child support payments increase as their children’s needs change, all parents, whether married or divorced, know that unexpected costs will appear during their children’s lives. It is with this understanding that Texas courts consider the addition of child support costs above the base calculations on a case-by-case basis when these expenses prove to be in the best interests of the child.
If you are the parent of one or more children and are facing the prospect of child support obligations, or you currently pay court-ordered child support, you may have questions about support calculations in Texas. For sound legal advice about potential or existing child support, contact an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can go over the unique details of your situation, and explore how you can provide for both you and your children’s needs.