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How Is Child Support Calculated in Texas Divorce and Family Law Cases?

Posted on April 25, 2023 in Divorce

Hurst, TX Child Support LawyerParents who decide to get a divorce will need to address a variety of issues related to their children, and these concerns can also affect unmarried parents who break up or are not in a relationship with each other. In addition to child custody, which will determine how parents will make decisions about how their children will be raised and when children will live with each parent, child support will be another important factor to address. Child support orders will ensure that both parents are contributing financially to their children's needs. In most cases, the "obligor," or the parent who pays child support, will be the non-custodial parent, and they will make ongoing payments to the "obligee." To ensure that issues related to child support will be handled correctly, it is crucial to understand how the amount of child support payments will be calculated according to Texas law.

Calculating Net Resources for the Purposes of Child Support

In Texas, child support is determined based on the income earned by the obligor. Thus, it will be necessary to determine the "net resources" that are available to the parent who will be paying support. To determine net resources, all sources of income will be added together, including any salary, wages, tips, and commissions, as well as royalties, interest and dividends on investments, self-employment income, or income earned through rental properties. Other sources of funds, including retirement benefits, veteran's benefits, unemployment benefits, workers' compensation benefits, severance pay, distributions from trusts, prizes won, gifts received, and capital gains earned from the sale of assets, may also need to be considered. Deductions will be made from this total amount, including federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and union dues, and the resulting amount will be the figure used to calculate child support.

Texas Child Support Guidelines

The guidelines provided in Texas law calculate child support based on a percentage of the obligor's net resources. The percentage used will depend on the number of children a parent will be supporting:

  • One child: 20% of net resources

  • Two children: 25% of net resources

  • Three children: 30% of net resources

  • Four children: 35% of net resources

  • Five children: 40% of net resources

  • Six or more children: At least 40% of net resources

Notably, there is an upper limit on the amount of net resources that may be used to calculate child support. This limit is adjusted every six years based on the consumer price index. The most recent change, which took place in 2019, set the limit at $9,200. If the obligor has net resources of more than $9,200 per month, the child support percentages will only be applied to the first $9,200 of their net resources.

Other Factors Considered in Texas Child Support Calculations

In some cases, courts may deviate from the guidelines and order an amount of child support different from what would be determined using the percentages listed above. When determining an appropriate amount of child support that should be paid, a court may consider factors such as:

  • The children's ages and the amount required to meet their needs

  • Each parent's ability to provide financial support for their children

  • Other financial resources that may be available to ensure that children's needs will be met

  • How physical custody will be divided and the amount of time children will live with each parent

  • The costs of providing child care for children while one or both parents are working

  • Alimony or spousal maintenance that one parent will pay to the other

  • The amount that each parent will be contributing to cover children under a health insurance plan

  • Extraordinary expenses for children, including educational fees and health-related costs

  • The costs required to share physical custody, including transportation for children or other travel arrangements

  • Debts owed by either parent

  • Any other issues that may affect the best interests of the children

Contact Our Tarrant County Child Support Lawyer

Calculating child support can be complicated, and there are numerous factors that will need to be considered. At Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C., our experienced Hurst child support attorney can walk you through the process of calculating child support, ensuring that the unique issues in your case will be considered correctly. We will make sure your children will have the necessary support while also protecting your financial security. Contact us at 817-498-4105 to set up a free consultation today.


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