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How long does one have to pay child support in Texas?

Raising a child in Texas is not always an easy task. This is true both on the behavioral aspects of parenting and the financial side. It can be quite expensive to ensure that a child's needs are met. Parents generally work together in meeting the financial needs of the children, but if the parents divorce, this can be more difficult to do. So, generally after a divorce one parent will be ordered to pay the other child support to ensure both parents are contributing to the child's needs.

The initial child support amount is determined by the child support guidelines in Texas, which look at the financial needs of the children and the income of the parents in determining the proper amount of child support. The parent paying child support will be required to pay this amount, unless it is modified later, until the child is no longer a child.

This occurs in a few different situations. The first is when the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever is later. For these purposes, in order to be enrolled in high school the child must be enrolled in a school or program, whether public or private which is working toward a high school diploma. The child must also be in school on a full-time basis which meets the attendance requirements of the law or the school they are enrolled in.

The other situations when child support would end are if the child was adopted, the child was emancipated by court order or by marriage or the child's death. However, child support may continue indefinitely if the child is disabled.

There are many parents who are divorced or going through a divorce in Texas. One parent may end up paying child support to the other parent until the child becomes an adult. While child support can seem like a relatively simple process based on the child support guidelines, it can still be quite complicated depending on the circumstances. Experienced attorneys understand these complications and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: Texas State Legislature, "Family Code, Title 5, Subtitle B, Chapter 154," accessed on July 18, 2017

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