TX — Texas child support payments are surging, spiking more than $4 billion in 2016, according to new data.
The data was released Tuesday by the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and it found the state was responsible for more than 3.5 million child support orders in 2016.
The number of orders totaled 1.4 million, up from 929,856 in 2015.
The department also found more than 1.3 million orders in 2017, up nearly 15% from the year before.
The increases were the largest increases in any state for the last 10 years, according the data.
DFPS reported that orders totalled 1.17 million in 2017 and 1.19 million in 2018, an increase of 9.3%.
The increase comes as Texas continues to struggle to meet its child support obligations.
It’s been the state with the highest child support costs in the country, according, according data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In 2016, Texas’ child support obligation stood at $24,966 per month, the highest in the nation.
The highest costs in Texas were in California at $22,716 per month.
In Texas, families are now on the hook for up to 20% of a child’s child support payment if the mother’s income is more than 100% of the state median.
According to the data, Texas had the highest percentage of families paying more than 90% of their income in the state in 2016 (39.3%), with Florida and Ohio at 36.9%.
In addition, Texas has the nation’s highest number of child support collections, at 1.2 million in 2016 and 2.4 billion by 2021, according figures released by the DFW in June.
The report noted that the total amount of child maintenance owed by families in Texas has jumped from $7.5 billion in 2017 to $8.1 billion in 2021.