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How to Make Child Support Payments

Under Chapter 154.003 of the Texas Family Code, the court can order child support payments to be paid using the following arrangements:

  1. Periodic payments
  2. Lump-sum payments
  3. Annuity payments
  4. Setting aside of property, which is to be used to support the child
  5. Any combination of all aforementioned child support payment methods

In other words, money is not the only option for parents satisfying child support payments. These methods for making child support payments will be discussed at length below. Our Austin child support attorney, Daniella Lyttle can also provide clarification.

Periodic Payments

Most parents in Texas paying child support prefer to pay in periodic payments. This basically means that support is paid on a regular basis on a specific date, either weekly or monthly.

A common example of a periodic payment plan is paying on the 1st and 15th of every month. Many Texas parents choose this setup because of the ease of tracking and managing child support payments.

Lump Sum Payment

Lump sum payments are (usually) large one-time payments made by supporting parents to completely satisfy their child support obligation. A lump sum payment can be an ideal choice for a parent with a large number of resources to spare. It also gives the obligor parent the peace of mind that comes from not having to worry about circumstances that may delay their period child support payments.

Of course, this setup also places pressure on the custodial parent—or, in the case of emancipated minors, the children themselves—to be responsible with the money they receive and plan its long-term usage carefully.

Annuity Payments

Obligor parents can use an annuity purchase to satisfy child support (or spousal support) obligations—this is known as a structured settlement. The obligor parent approaches a brokerage firm to purchase an annuity, the proceeds of which are used to pay child support over time.

Although seldom used in Texas, an annuity purchase offers some compelling benefits to both the supporting and custodial parent.

  • • The initial cost of the annuity can be lower than the total value of monthly child support payments
  • • It offers more security to the child and custodial parent, who no longer have to worry about payment delays and arrearages
  • • Under Texas law, creditors cannot go after an annuity should the obligor parent file for bankruptcy
  • • An annuity will ensure child support payments are made, regardless of what happens to the obligor parent (e.g. job loss, bankruptcy)
Setting Aside of Property, Which is to be Used to Support the Child

During the finalization of the divorce, the court can order a specific real or personal property to be set aside for the exclusive benefit of the child until he reaches adulthood or is emancipated. For example, a Texas judge can order one spouse to have his separate property, such as a house, to be the home of the child and the custodial parent after the divorce, effectively turning the limited residence of the property as child support.

This option is ideal for cash-poor but asset-rich obligors, who may prefer to satisfy their child support obligation with specific property instead of money.

Any Combination of all Aforementioned Child Support Payment Methods

Under Texas law, parties are allowed to negotiate for different types of child support. Parents can work out amongst themselves how to satisfy child support obligations in a way that works best for all parties. If no agreement is reached, the court can use its judgment to order child support to be paid in any combination of the methods listed above.

For questions and further clarification about child support in Texas, get in touch with the family law attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215-5225, or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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