If you are a Texas resident who is divorced from your child’s other parent, you might be wondering if you are eligible for child support payments. Whether you are the custodial parent or have joint physical custody of your child, child support eligibility depends on a variety of things.
Custody of the child is a key factor
In most cases, the custodial parent, who has the responsibility for the daily care of the child most of the time, will be eligible for child support payments since these payments are there to cover the costs of the child’s needs. However, in some cases, the parents might share joint physical custody, which means they are equally responsible for the child’s daily care. If one parent earns significantly more than the other parent, then the higher-earning parent might still be required to pay child support to ensure the child’s needs are met in both households.
Other factors to consider
Other factors might also affect if you can receive child support. These include:
- If a father has established legal paternity if paternity was questioned
- If the custodial parent knows the whereabouts of the other parent
- If the custodial parent has petitioned the court in their state for a child support order
Eligibility for child support can have additional benefits
As a custodial parent who receives child support, you might also be entitled to other benefits. One of these is being able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, when you file your taxes, even if you are not the parent who claims the child as a dependent in your tax return due to the divorce settlement.
Once you are eligible for child support payments, you can also access state support in locating the other parent and collecting the payments. This also includes support enforcement, which can result in serious consequences for non-paying parents.