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Veterans and Child Support Issues

Family Law & Military Families

This article provides basic information about veterans and child support issues.

Here, veterans who must pay child support can learn how much of their income can be withheld, and how child support is calculated. Also, learn how to pay child support in compliance with Texas law.

What part of my income can be withheld for child support?

It depends on how many dependents you have under the age of 18 or otherwise entitled to child support and what type of income you have. If a child is over 18 but still in high school, that child is still entitled to receive child support. If you have a disabled child, child support can continue indefinitely after the child turns 18. Generally, the percentages listed in the chart below are what the court will withhold from income for child support.

Amounts shown are the percentage of income the court takes.

Number of children before the court
of other
a duty
to support
  1 2 3 4 5+
0 20% 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00
1 17.50 22.50 27.38 32.20 37.33
2 16 20.63 25.20 30.33 35.43
3 14.75 19 24 29 34
4 13.6 18.33 23.14 28 32.89
5 13.33 17.86 22.50 27.22 32
6 13.14 17.50 22 26.60 31.27
7 13 17.22 21.60 26.09 30.67

If you have one child, the court can take 20% of your income. If you have four children, the court could take up to 35% of your income. However, if you have some of the children with one partner and others with another partner, then you use different numbers.

For example, as in the chart above, if you have five children involved in your current case but you also have two other children that you have a duty to support, then the court could only take up to 35.43 percent for child support for the five children involved in your current case.

Is all of my income used to calculate child support?

With a few exceptions, child support is based on net income from all sources, not only wages.

Common Types of Income Used to Calculate Child Support

This list does not include all possible types of income.

Income Type

Countable as income for child support?

Employment income: wages, overtime, tips, bonuses, commissions, self-employment, perks of the job like automobiles, per diems, cell phones, etc.


Rental Income




SSI - Social Security Supplemental Income – Disability income not based on earnings


SSDI – Disability Income based on earnings


Retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, military retirement (Non VA), Service connected disability compensation & TDUI


Veterans Affairs Pension, Aid & Attendance




Portions of the GI Bill that cover living expenses


VA Disability Pay


Workers’ Compensation Benefits


Unemployment Benefits


Can I just pay the child support directly to the other parent?

Child support withholding is mandatory. All child support payments must go through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit. If you make payments directly to the other parent, they may not count as child support and may be considered as a gift. Exceptions to this rule may apply for certain benefits that are not subject to withholding.

I am disabled and my children receive dependent care benefits due to my disability - does that count toward child support?

The court will figure out how much child support you must pay under the child support guidelines, and then subtract the amount of benefits paid to or for the child because of your disability.

For more information on this, read Disabled Veterans and Child Support Obligations.

I do not understand my withholding order. What are all of these amounts?

The court may be withholding money for mandatory medical and dental support. If you do not provide insurance through your employer and the state provides the insurance you are required to reimburse up to 9% of your income for the state providing this insurance. Alternatively, if the other parent pays for the insurance, you may be ordered to reimburse the other parent for the amount he or she pays for the health insurance for the children. Additionally, you may owe retroactive support, child support arrearages, or spousal maintenance.

What are other resources for veterans regarding child support?

The Texas Attorney General has an online handbook for non-custodial parents (the parent with whom the child does not live). Please review the Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents for more information.

Additionally, the HEROES program of the Texas Office of the Attorney General helps when military-related injuries have made you unable to follow a court order and they have specialized case review and management for veterans. Contact: (512) 460-6400 or email:

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  • Quick Answers for Veterans on Child Support Issues - TAMU Law

    This handout from the Family and Veterans Advocacy Clinic at Texas A&M University School of law addresses child support questions for veterans....