Judy Branham
Executive Director

Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm

500 E. San Antonio
Suite LL-108
El Paso, Texas 79901
Phone (915) 834-8200
Fax (915) 834-8299

Management Action Plan

Domestic Relations Office

  • Child Support FAQs
  • What is child support?
  • The most important thing to look for in deciding what is child support is the language in the court order. The most common type of child support is in the form of monthly payments from the non-custodial parent (Obligor) to the custodial parent (Obligee). However, Texas law requires that an Obligor provide medical support for his/her children as well, either by obtaining health insurance for the children themselves or by reimbursing the Obligee for the cost of covering the children on th Obligee's health insurance. Occasionally, a court may order other forms of child support such as payment of tutoring or private school.
  • How do you calculate how much child support a person owes?
  • Different states use different formulas for calculating a parent's child support obligation. Under Texas Law, an Obligor owes a certain percentage of his or her "net resources." Texas Law does not take a spouse's income or the income of the custodial parent into account in calculating child support. The formula used to calculate net income is too complex to be explained fully here. For a thorough explanation of how to calculate child support under Texas Law, you may attend the Child Support class offered by the Family Law Information Center.
  • Once I have the court order, what is next?
  • If you already have a court order for child support, the child support can be garnished ("withheld") from the paycheck of the person ordered to pay child support ("Obligor"). For more detailed information on withholding orders, please refer to the Withholding Order/Wage Garnishment for Child Support flyer
  • Can the court order the Obligor to pay child support after my child is 18 years of age?
  • Again, you must look to the specifics of your court order. In general, Texas law provides that parents have an obligation to support a child until the child is 18 years of age or has graduated from high school, whichever occurs later. However, under certain circumstances, the obligation to support the child might end earlier (such as when a child marries before the age of 18) or later (such as when a child is disabled).
  • The court already ordered child support, but the other parent isn't paying. What can i do?
  • See the Family Law Information Center flyer on Enforcing your Court Order for basic information. For more detailed information you may wish to attend the Child Support class offered by the Family Law Information Center.
  • Is a child eligible for child support if he or she is also receiving monthly welfare assistance from the Texas Department of Human Services?
  • Yes, the fact that a parent is receiving welfare benefits does not mean the child is not eligible for child support from the other parent. However, when a parent applies for welfare benefits for a child, that parent is usually required to "assign" (or give) their right to receive child support for that child to the State of Texas. This does not mean that that parent will never receive child support from the other parent. Child Support in public assistance cases is handled by the Office of the Attorney General. For more detailed information you may wish to attend the Child Support class offered by the Family Law Information Center, or contact the Office of the Attorney General at (915) 772-0385 or at www.oag.state.tx.us
  • Where should I send my payment?
  • Your check or money order should be made payable to the Obligee. You should send your payment to the State Disbursement Unit at the following address:


    Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit - Payment Only, P.O. Box 659791, San Antonio, Texas 78265-9791.

  • May I send my payments directly to the other parent?
  • No. §154.004 of the Texas Family Code states: The court shall order the payment of child support to the State Disbursement Unit as provided by chapter 234." If you do not make your payment through the appropriate registry, it will appear that you are behind in your child support payments, and you may have to come to court to prove that you have made those payments.
  • How can I check to see if a payment has been received?
  • a) For the Domestic Relations Office 24-hour automated system, call 915-546-2159. To speak with a person in the child support division of the Domestic Relations Office, call 915-834-8257. The Domestic Relations Office has a cooperative agreement with the State Disbursement Unit and can provide information about payments made through the SDU.
  • b) For the State Disbursement Unit/Office of the Attorney General, call: 1-800-252-8014.
  • What is the State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?
  • It is a central state agency for processing child support payments. Until 2001 all child support payments in the state of Texas were to be sent to the local child support registry. However, federal law mandated that every state create a central state agency for processing child support payments. If you have a court order for child support that was signed after October 16, 2000, a "child support notification form" for your case should have been filled out and submitted to the El Paso County Domestic Relations Office. The information from that form is sent to the State Disbursement Unit so that they may know where to send any child support payments they receive. If no notification form is submitted, any child support payment received by the SDU is placed into a "suspense fund" and not forwarded at all. The DRO can provide you information about the status of records at the SDU.
  • If you would like more information about Child Support, the Family Law Information Center offers classes on topics such as child support, child custody and visitation. For more information on these classes, you may contact us at: 834-8200 ext. 4049.