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A parent may ask the court to award an amount greater or less than what would be determined by the child support guidelines. To do this, you must convince a court that the guidelines are unjust or inappropriate in your case. In determining whether the amount of child support determined by the guidelines is inappropriate or unjust, the court will look at many factors. Among the factors the court will consider are the age and needs of the child, child care expenses incurred by you or the child's mother in order to work, or any other factor consistent with the best interest of the child.

In Texas, the parties may sign a written agreement that differs from the child support guidelines. If the child?s mother receives welfare benefits, the child support attorney will also have to agree to the amount that differs from the child support guidelines. It may be difficult to get a child support attorney to agree to this. If the court agrees with the parties' decision concerning the amount of child support, the court will enter the agreement as an enforceable order of the court. However, the court must find that the written agreement serves the best interest of the child. Child support generally continues until the child's 18th birthday or until the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.

From the Texas Q and A Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents, Office of John Cornyn, Texas Attorney General

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