Continuing our discussion about Texas Child Support, we will explore the ways in which child support can be paid. In Part 1 of this post, we talked about calculating support, assuming you’ve gotten past that hurdle — either through an agreement with the other party or a decision by the Judge — it’s now time to start paying the child support.
How Child Support Can Be Paid
Child support is most often paid in one of two ways:
- The Obligor can pay the child support themselves; or
- The child support can be withheld from the Obligor's check by their employer.
If the child support is not withheld, the Obligor is responsible for sending the child support each month to either the Obligee or the State Disbursement Unit. In most cases, child support in Texas is Ordered to be paid through the State Disbursement Unit, which is a clearinghouse that receives the payments, credits them to the child support account, and then sends them on to the receiving party. While, in the past, stories of mishandling of child support by the SDU were common, they have, for the most part, gotten the process down. For the paying party, this process creates a record that the support was actually paid. For the receiving party, the same is true and, as is often more important for the receiving party, if the support is not paid, or not paid timely, there is a record of that for subsequent enforcement proceedings.
If child support is ordered to be withheld by the employer, the amount of child support withheld from each check is calculated based on whether the Obligor gets paid weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. The employer will withhold that amount each pay period and the child support will be taken out before the Obligor gets paid. The employer will then send the child support to the State Disbursement unit who will record the payment and then disburse the money to the Obligee as discussed above. In the event that the Obligor changes jobs, a copy of the withholding order can be submitted to the new employer and they will begin withholding the child support.
If you are currently having problems with the payment, withholding or receipt of child support, it may be necessary to contact a lawyer. Our office, Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, helps clients with Texas child support issues all of the time. We’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation.
In Part 3 of our post regarding Texas Child Support, I’ll discuss when child support typically ends in Texas.