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How long to make child support payments last in Texas?

Odessa families may be interested in some information about the length of child support orders made by a Texas court. The court has discretion in the duration of these orders, according to Texas law.

The Texas Family Code contains guidelines that dictate how long a child support payment must be made. Ultimately, the decision is up to the court that is conducting the hearing. The law states that a court may order either one or both of the child's parents to pay support for any of four different durations. These include until the child is either graduated from high school or turns 18, or the child is legally emancipated through marriage or some other means. Additionally, the court can order support payments until the child's death or indefinite disability.

If the child support is to end at the time of the child's graduation from high school, even after they turn 18, some qualifications must be met. The child must be enrolled in a qualifying educational institution, including one that offers a high school diploma upon completion. There must be a request made for a support order terminating at graduation. The order, if granted, may require payments until the month of the child's graduation.

In addition to the length of the required payments, the court also had discretion with regard to the frequency of payments and future modifications. The payments may be ordered in one lump sum, in installments or as an annuity, among other options.

Navigating the child support rules can be difficult for a parent without the help of an attorney. The attorney may represent a parent at a hearing in order to help obtain a fair child support payment amount. An attorney may also be helpful in requesting a modification of an existing order.

Source: Texas Family Code, "CHAPTER 154. CHILD SUPPORT SUBCHAPTER A. COURT-ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT", November 26, 2014

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