How Long is Child Support Paid?

Usually, under Texas law, child support is paid until the child is 18.  However, the child support will then continue even after the child turns 18, for so long as the child is attending high school.

But, if a child who is being supported is disabled, then the child support can be ordered permanently and even when the child grows into an adult.

Prior to the law changing in 2019, the child support was often ordered to be paid through the State Disbursement Unit.

The law is now that if a person is paying child support for a person with special needs, that a court can order that special needs trust will be established and that child support is paid directly into the trust for the benefit of the child.  This way the account can have interest benefits for the beneficiary, and the control is in the hands of the family of the person with special needs.

§ 154.302. Court-Ordered Support for Disabled Child-ADDED
  • Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a court that orders support under this section for an adult child with a disability may designate a special needs trust and provide that the support may be paid directly to the trust for the benefit of the adult child. The court shall order that support payable to a special needs trust under this

subsection be paid directly to the trust and may not order the support be paid to the state disbursement unit. This subsection does not apply in a Title IV-D case.