Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm
500 E. San Antonio
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.