Calculating Child Support in Texas

child support

Divorces are hard on children because they bring painful changes. Parents who were once happy together now argue and the place they called home may now be divided between strange houses or apartments. The state's goal in these cases is to make sure each child's best interests are met. Texas not only has laws protecting their physical custody, but their financial support as well. The court must follow very specific guidelines when awarding these financial settlements.

Child support is meant to ensure there will always be funds to meet their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical treatment. However, the amount Texas awards the Custodial Parent is never enough to cover all of your child’s expenses.

To calculate child support, Texas uses a straight formula. The court determines the gross salary of the obligor, or paying parent, by gathering financial information, such as:

  • All income from salary and wages, including overtime, tips, and bonuses,
  • All income from self-employment,
  • All income from trusts, royalties, and dividends,
  • Net income from rental properties or total rent, minus operating costs, such as mortgages and costs of repairs and maintenance,
  • Other received income, such as retirement benefits, pensions, capital gains, annuities, and beyond,
  • And all other sources of income.

Next, using the Texas Attorney General Child Support Tables, you can determine the obligor's net resources by subtracting the following amounts:

  • Social Security and Medicare taxes,
  • Federal income taxes based on the rate of a single person who takes standard deductions and claims one personal exemption,
  • State income tax, if any, and
  • Union dues.

Health and dental insurance premiums or cash medical support paid on behalf of the child in question is also deducted.

Once the net resources are determined based on the Texas Attorney General Support Tables, the amount of child support is calculated as follows:

  • 20% of the net salary for 1 child,
  • 25% of the net salary for 2 children,
  • 30% of the net salary for 3 children,
  • 35% of the net salary for 4 children,
  • 40% of the net salary for 5 children, and
  • At least 40% of the net income for 6 or more children.

In cases of high earning obligors, their monthly net resources is capped at $9,200.00 per month.

There are instances where obligees (custodial parent) may ask for more money. Obligees caring for a child with special medical or physical needs that require continuous care, preventing them from seeking full-time employment may need more help from the obligor (non-custodial parent).

The amount of child support is that amount until further order of the court. However, that amount is not set in stone. If either parent has a material and substantial change in their situation, he/she may request the court modify the existing order to change the amount of child support. An example of that would be if the noncustodial parent get laid off from their job and he/she needs to reduce the child support.

The state of Texas is always working to look out for the best interests of any child and setting an amount of child support, it can minimize the effects of divorce on a child as much as possible.