How Long Can My Children Receive Child Support?
When a divorce occurs, you have a lot of questions and concerns about the child support process. Many people do not know how long a duration their child will receive support, or how much or how little child support they may be able to receive. Some cases people can receive child support longer than other cases. It all depends on your specific situation. There is no one-size-fits-all child support scenario. Let’s take a look at the child support process in Texas.
The Child Support Process
First, it’s good for parents to understand what child support is and how it is determined. The child support process in family court will establish paternity if necessary, help parents divide medical expenses and will also help determine and distribute child support monies.
Once paternity is established either through the admission of the father or DNA testing, the court will begin to determine how much child support must be paid, and for how long payments will occur. In most cases, the normal duration of child support is until the child turns 18 or graduates high school (whichever occurs later). Once your child is 18 or has graduated high school, you will no longer receive child support payments. However, there are a few important exceptions to this rule.
If you have a child who has a disability that is known of before or on their 18th birthday, the child is eligible to receive extended child support. This extension of the responsibility period is due to medical bills and long-term care needs that your child may have. In cases of disability, a parent may be able to receive child support for a beyond the age of 18, and possibly for the child's lifetime. However, if at any point the child is able to manage finances and take care of him or herself, child support will cease after the age of 18, even if there is a mental or physical disability. These are case-by-case matters and will be determined by the court.
If your child is eligible to receive support beyond the age of 18 or graduation from high school, either you or your partner will need to provide health insurance for your child. This is required by law to ensure he or she receives proper medical care. The court will decide who will bear the cost of the medical insurance for the child. The court will look at any available employer-sponsored insurance to see if the cost is reasonable, and that the policy provides quality coverage for your child. In some instances, the court will order the family to apply for public health care or seek supplemental, private insurance.
When it comes down to it, it will be in you and your children’s best interest to talk with a Dallas child support attorney for all your questions and to help you in court. An attorney can help you through the whole process and ensure you are getting the best possible result. Contact child support attorney Michael P. Granata by calling 214-977-9050 or contacting us online.