How Long Does it Take for Child Support to Start in Texas?

How Long Does it Take for Child Support to Start in Texas?

For child support to start in Texas, it typically takes approximately six to eight weeks after the judge signs the support order. However, this timeline can vary depending on individual circumstances and any potential delays in processing.

When you are the primary caretaker for your child, receiving child support can assist you in meeting the needs of your child.

Understandably, you want to know, How long does it take for child support to start in Texas? Learning the timeline for initiating and receiving child support in Texas is crucial for managing expectations and financial planning. Our post here explains each step in the process and suggests ways to ensure it moves smoothly.

At The Stout Law Firm, our experienced family law attorneys understand how important the child support process is to the well-being of our client’s families and strongly advocate on their behalf. Contact us today.

How Long Does it Take for Child Support to Start

How to Receive Child Support in Texas

You will need a court order to receive formal child support, which can only come after a lawsuit is initiated requesting it. This is most common in a paternity action or divorce. Legally establishing the child’s parent is the first step to asking the court to obligate them to pay child support.

You will need to provide documentation showing that the person is or should be legally declared your child’s parent.  The following are helpful in establishing someone as a parent for purposes of child support:

  • A prior court order establishing them as the parent;
  • A signed and unrevoked acknowledgement of paternity;
  • A marriage license showing marriage at the time of the child’s birth;
  • Genetic testing

These documents are foundational in legally establishing who is responsible for child support. Filing for child support involves submitting a detailed application with all necessary documentation to your local family court.

How Long Does It Take to Get Child Support After Filing in Texas?

After filing, the timeline can vary significantly. On average, it takes six to eight weeks for a judge to sign the support order for payments to commence. However, this timeline can be longer due to:

  • Legal complexities, such as disputes over paternity or financial assessments; 
  • Incomplete documentation or incorrect filing; and
  • The workload and efficiency of the specific court handling the case.

During this period, it’s crucial to maintain communication with your attorney and any relevant court officials to ensure your case is progressing. 

How Much Support Should I Receive?

The state of Texas requires paying child support regardless of whether the parent is active in the child’s life or exercising any visitation rights. Child support in Texas is calculated based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s income, considering the number of children they need to support.

Hiring an attorney who understands what should be taken into consideration when calculating a child support obligation. This will help to ensure that your child receives the support they are entitled to. Some things the court will consider when ordering child support are:

  • How many children the party has an obligation to support;
  • The party’s income or earning potential;
  • Whether the child has any special needs;
  • All documentation regarding both parents’ incomes and assets.

A Texas child support attorney at The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can help ensure the calculation is fair and considers all relevant aspects of your financial situation and your children’s needs.

When Will I Receive My Child Support Payment?

One of the most common questions our attorneys get from clients is when will I receive my child support payment? Receiving child support payments is reliant on a number of different factors, which makes it difficult to say with any certainty how long it will be before child support payments start to arrive.

Once everything is approved though, child support payments typically start within four to six weeks. Payments are usually made via direct deposit or through the Texas Payment Card system, which functions like a debit card. It’s crucial to ensure that all your banking information is correctly filed to avoid payment delays.

Critical Factors Influencing Child Support Processing Times

Several factors can impact how long child support takes, including:

  • The complexity of the financial situation. Cases involving self-employed individuals or disputed financial disclosures can take longer.
  • Disputes over custody or visitation. These can complicate the timeline if linked with child support discussions.
  • Local Court procedures. Each jurisdiction may have different processing speeds and requirements.

Hiring an attorney can help streamline the process in many cases, especially when custody disputes occur. 

Enforcement of Child Support Orders

Texas law requires the noncustodial parent to make timely and regular child support payments, regardless of where they live or their current financial situation.

If the noncustodial parent is not making their payments in a timely manner, you may be eligible to file an Enforcement Action against them. In an Enforcement Action, you make a request of the Court to enforce the existing Order. Child support is enforceable through many different avenues, including incarceration.

Need Help with Child Support Payments? Talk to Our Attorneys Today

Navigating child support claims can be complex and stressful. At The Stout Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced Texas family law attorneys provide the support and guidance needed to ensure you and your children receive the financial support you deserve. Attorney Angela Stout is Board Certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She specializes in all types of family law matters, including child support. 

If you have questions about how long it takes for child support to start in Texas, contact us. Proper legal guidance can simplify and expedite this process, helping you to receive the support you need in a timely manner.

Angela Stout

Angela A. Stout was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2007. Ms. Stout has practiced law since 2007, with an emphasis in representing clients in family law matters. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from South Texas College of Law in May of 2007. Ms. Stout became Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in December of 2015. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is a specialized group of attorneys that must obtain exceptional experience in a specific area of law, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete ongoing continuing legal education in that specialized area. Additionally, Ms. Stout is certified as a mediator by the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center.


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