Child Support in Texas: FAQs and Resources

A man holds a young child on his shoulders during a walk.

Most parents are most probably aware of the term "child support," but how does it really work? To put it briefly, child support is financial support made by one parent to another to pay for the expenses of raising a child or children they have. It's a concept that many parents living apart—regardless of whether they are separated, divorced, or never-married—are familiar with, including those in Texas.

It bodes well for any parent to understand fully their obligation as a parent paying or receiving child support. In this article, you will find some basic resources as well as answers to the frequently asked questions pertaining to child support payments in Texas.


Texas Child Support FAQs

Get answers to frequently asked questions about how child support works in Texas.

How does child support work in Texas?

Texas uses the percentage of income model in determining the amount of child support. Under this model, child support payments are based on the percentage of the non-custodial parent's net resources. Texas uses a varying percentage model where the number of children the parents share is considered in the determination of the child support.

How much does child support cost in Texas?

The child support amount you either receive or pay in Texas will depend on the state's present child support guidelines as discussed in the Texas Family Code Chapter 154

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas also has a monthly child support calculator you can use to get an estimate of the monthly child support you will receive or pay. The calculator is best used for those with a single source of income.

How do I file for child support in Texas?=

You can file for child support through the Office of the Attorney General of Texas Child Support Division web portal or by sending a paper application. Visit the Attorney General of Texas Child Support Division Apply for Services page for application links and instructions.

Are child support payments tax-deductible or taxed in Texas?

The IRS states that, "Child support payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable to the recipient. When you calculate your gross income to see if you're required to file a tax return, don't include child support payments received."

Likewise on a state tax level, child support payments are also not taxed or tax-deductible. 

How do I make child support payments in Texas?

The majority of child support payments in Texas are made through wage withholding. The Office of the Attorney General will send a notification to the parent's employers to automatically deduct child support payments from the paycheck.

There are also other various ways of paying child support in Texas. A parent can settle child support payments via credit or debit cards, by mail, cash or money order, payment kiosk locations, and bank auto-draft.  You can check each option in detail here at the OAG website.

How do I check on child support payments I’ve received?

Parents in Texas can receive their child support payments either by direct deposits to their bank accounts or with the Texas Payment Card.

The Texas OAG website also provides a tool for viewing child support payment history via the Child Support Interactive.

How can you use child support payments in Texas?

Child support is intended to pay for the everyday cost of raising children. The payment is meant to cover the child's basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing, and intended to help the children maintain the same standard of living before their parents' divorce or separation.


Texas Child Support Resources

Here, you'll find links to important child support resources for the state of Texas.

Texas Child Support Information

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas is a good place to begin your research regarding how child support works in Texas.

Visit the OAG Child Support Division 

You can also call for 24-hour payment and case status information: (800) 252-8014

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call Relay Texas toll-free by dialing 711 or (800) RELAY TX (735-2989).

Texas Child Support Portal

The Texas Child Support Portal is where you can apply for services to the OAG Child Support Division as well as access all child-support-related information. Both custodial and non-custodial parents can use the portal to access child-support-related information. The portal can also be used to pay child support online as well.

Visit the Texas Child Support Portal

Calculating Child Support in Texas

The Texas OAG Child Support Division website has a calculator that can be used to estimate the monthly child support payments. You can also review the Texas Family Code 154 covering the guidelines for determining child support.

Go to the Texas OAG monthly child support calculator 

Texas Child Support Laws

For the most accurate information regarding child support laws in Texas, you might want to read the Texas Family Code 154.

Additionally, the Child Support Division in the Office of the Attorney General has also published a Frequently Asked Questions brochure about child support


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