Traditional gender roles are changing across the world, and the Lone Star
State is no exception. Not too long ago, it was highly unusual to think
of a mother paying child support to a father. Today’s world works
differently. Men aren’t always the breadwinners. They can be stay-at-home
dads, or they might be working part-time and going back to school. Whatever
the case, in a divorce, it’s unreasonable to automatically assume
that a mother will receive primary custody.
In the state of Texas, only a legal father may collect child support. If
a man is the biological father of the child, he needs to establish paternity
to have legal rights.
“Paternity” is the term that indicates a child’s legal
father. Even when a man is a child’s biological father, he may not
have legal paternity. In the state of Texas, when parents are unmarried,
the father has no legal rights to the child until he establishes paternity.
When both parents agree to paternity and want it legally established, they
need to work with a certified professional and file an
Acknowledgement of Paternity form.
AOP-certified entities can be found here.
Surprisingly, a minor may sign this form without a parent’s consent.
This permission may be a way to curb “deadbeat dads” from
abandoning their kids, but it also carries problems of its own. If the
information is false, the man now needs to revoke paternity. Within 60
days of filing an AOP, the alleged father needs to file a
Rescission of the Acknowledgment form, which will annul the paternity. If there is a court hearing on the
paternity, and that hearing is less than 60 days from filing the AOP,
the father has until that court date to file his
Rescission of the Acknowledgment.
Child Support in Texas
To calculate child support, Texas uses the “percentage of income”
model. It’s one of the few states that uses this system. Put simply,
the state asks for a percent of the non-custodial parent’s net income.
The more kids a couple has, the higher the percentage of income is used
for child support.
Texas’s child support chart looks like this:
one child, the non-custodial parent pays 20% of their net income on child support.
two children, the non-custodial parent pays 25% of their net income on child support.
The percentage goes up by five for every additional child.
Having three children demands 30%, and so forth. The percent stops at40% for five or more children. Judges may also order extra support for healthcare, daycare, and educational expenses.
To collect child support, a man must be the child’s legal father.
When he is the child’s biological father, and the couple is unmarried,
he needs to file for paternity to gain his legal rights.
If you have concerns about establishing paternity or child support, we
can help. Consultations are free and there’s no risk involved, so
call today at (713) 936-2300 or contact us online.