Payment of child support is typically required for one parent when parents do not live together. The amount of child support is frequently a concern for both parents, as one party will needs assistance to care for the children a majority of the time, while the other parent may be struggling financially to pay child support and cover their own expenses. The majority of the time, child support payments are determined by set factors, including the income of the non-custodial parent (income after taxes), how many children are to be supported, whether the non-custodial parent has other children from a previous or new relationship, and health care expenses.
For example, in a “standard” custody arrangement where the parents are named joint managing conservators and the non-custodial parent has the children on a standard possession schedule, his or her child support payments would be calculated on a flat percentage of income—if there is only one child between the parties, and the non-custodial parent has no other children he or she is obligated to support, then child support payments will frequently be 20% of his or her net income, plus an obligation to provide health insurance or reimbursement for health insurance costs. Support will be ordered until the child turns 18 years of age. If there are two children, child support will be 25% until the first child turns 18, and then it will be 20% until the second child turns 18.