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What is dental support?

Dental support is like medical support. It is additional child support that a parent is ordered to pay to cover the reasonable cost of dental insurance and uninsured dental expenses for a child.

Beginning September 1, 2018, the court must order that dental insurance be provided for the child. See Texas Family Code chapters 154.1815 and 154.1825.

Like medical support, a parent can be ordered to pay dental support by:

  • providing dental insurance coverage for the child, or
  • paying the other parent for the reasonable cost of dental insurance coverage (“cash medical support”), or
  • paying cash medical support if the child receives Medicaid.

The parent ordered to pay dental support is only required to pay the “reasonable cost” of dental insurance coverage for the child. Reasonable cost means the cost of dental insurance that does not exceed 1.5% of the obligor's annual resources. See Texas Family Code chapter 154.1815. For example, if the amount of the obligor's gross annual resources is $30,000, then the "reasonable cost" of dental support that an obligor is ordered to pay cannot exceed $450 per year, or $37.50 per month.

Dental support is in addition to regular child support and the medical support. For example, if you are ordered to pay $500 per month child support, $150 per month medical support, and $25 a month in dental support, the total amount you are ordered to pay is $675 per month.