Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?

Child support is still paid when parents have joint custody in Texas in most situations.

The idea in the family code is to place the focus on parents’ rights, responsibilities, benefits, and burdens. Parents are there to “conserve and protect” their children, not merely possess a child like an object.

Joint Managing Conservatorship in Texas does not mean equal time. Generally in most joint managing conservatorship case one parent is name the primary conservator who has the right to determine the primary residence of the child and the other parent has visitation. The appointment of joint managing conservators does not impair or limit the authority of the court to order a joint managing conservator to pay child support to another joint managing conservator.

The Court will always care more about the best interest of then children than what either party thinks is “fair.” If the case goes to Court it is entirely up to the trial court judge to decide who, if anyone, will pay child support and what that amount will be.

Agreements in Mediation to No Child Support

Sometimes parents want to do or agree to creative things outside the Texas Family Code guidelines. In these cases I encourage that the case be settled through mediation. One reason for this is that if the case is settled in mediation then I know it can be pushed through the court.

If the case is not settled in mediation and something nonstandard has been agreed upon by parents then there is a good chance a court will not approve it. This is because:

  1. child support is presumed to be in the best interest of the child
  2. In order to get it through the court we will have to prove to a judge that it is in your child’s best interest that a parent not provide support.