Indefinite Child Support? The Court Decides.
“I am paying child support indefinitely. That is not fair! How come and why should I pay it?”
It may feel like it is unfair. In fact, you may feel like you have been placed on a never-ending punishment. However, first remember that in Texas, non-custodial parent pays 17.5%-20% in child support. In other words, the custodial parent is responsible for 80% to 82.5% of the support of a child.
Can the court order me to pay child support continually? It depends on the facts about the child. For example, where the child is disabled, the court can order indefinite child support.
Paying child support indefinitely?
Texas Family Code – FAM § 154.302. Court-Ordered Support for Disabled Child
(a) The court may order either or both parents to provide for the support of a child for an indefinite period and may determine the rights and duties of the parents if the court finds that:
(1) the child, whether institutionalized or not, requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability and will not be capable of self-support; and
(2) the disability exists, or the cause of the disability is known to exist, on or before the 18th birthday of the child.
(b) A court that orders support under this section shall designate a parent of the child or another person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order to receive the support for the child. The court may designate a child who is 18 years of age or older to receive the support directly.
So what can I do – my child is disabled?
If the rule above applies to you, then you may be ordered to pay child support even after child turns 18 years old. Generally, a disabled child – even after passing into adulthood may need care.
Therefore, it is important to keep providing support until the disability no longer exists.
The judge can also determine who should have physical custody of the child or if a guardian should be appointed.
Talk to a family attorney in your area about your specific situation.