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What Issues Can Affect Child Support in a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Hurst, TX Child Support and Alimony LawyerWhen parents decide to divorce, the process of separating their lives, establishing new living arrangements, and determining when children will live with each of them can be difficult and confusing. In addition to the practical concerns related to when parents will spend time with children and other child custody issues, financial matters will play a major role in these cases. One of the most important financial issues that must be addressed is child support. In Texas, there are several factors that could affect a child support agreement in a couple's divorce. It is important to understand these factors and how they could influence the outcome of a divorce case. 

Types of Income

The primary factor used to determine child support is the income of the parent who will be paying support. In general, the "noncustodial" parent, or the parent who has less visitation time with the children, will pay child support to the "custodial" parent. Multiple types of income may be considered, including wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, royalties, dividends, capital gains, severance pay, unemployment benefits, retirement benefits, Social Security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, annuities, or income received through the rental of a property. Certain types of deductions may be made, including federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and union dues, to determine the parent's "net resources."

Calculating Child Support Payments

The amount of child support that a parent will pay is determined by a formula that multiplies the parent's net resources by a specific percentage. The percentage that is used will be based on the number of children the parents share:

  • 1 child: 20 percent

  • 2 children: 25 percent

  • 3 children: 30 percent

  • 4 children: 35 percent

  • 5 children: 40 percent

  • 6+ children: At least 40 percent, although a higher percentage may be ordered by the judge in a divorce case

In some situations, a judge may decide not to follow these percentages based on the factors involved in a case. These factors include the ages of the children and their unique needs, the costs of childcare that is necessary for either parent to maintain employment, the obligor parent's ability to earn enough income to be able to pay child support, the amount of time each parent will spend with the children, whether either parent will be paying spousal support to the other, and the costs of travel that will be needed to ensure that a parent will be able to have possession and access of the children. The net resources of the parent who will be receiving child support may also be considered, including the income they should be able to earn if they are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. Ultimately, the most important factor to address is the best interests of the children, and a judge will be looking to implement solutions that will provide for their ongoing needs.

Medical and Dental Support

Another factor taken into consideration when determining child support is the costs of health insurance and dental care for children. If one parent has access to a health insurance plan through their employer and can add the children as dependents on their policy, then they may be expected to do so in order to ensure that children will be able to receive medical and dental treatment when necessary. The costs of medical and dental insurance premiums to provide coverage for children may then be divided between the parents.

Contact Our Hurst Child Support Lawyer

Figuring out child support arrangements during a divorce can be complicated and stressful, but understanding what factors come into play can help ease some of that stress and make it easier for divorcing parents to reach an agreement that works best for everyone involved. By familiarizing yourself with how child support is calculated, you can better prepare yourself for this process and ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your divorce settlement. At Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C., our experienced Tarrant County child support attorney can help you understand the complexities of Texas family law, and we will do everything we can to help you get through this challenging time with positive results. Contact us today at 817-498-4105 for a free consultation.


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