In Texas, child support is most always owed by the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. How child support is owed is set by a statutorily based percentage to the owing party's net income (gross income minus social security taxes and federal income tax withholding). The Attorney General has a chart on their website which breaks down the numbers for those that are interested.
This chart, however, is designed for parties whose net income is less than $8,550. It's safe to say that most Texans earn less than this amount per month- which can present difficulties for families due to the cost of raising children. Setting aside the necessities like food, clothing, shelter and medical care- additional costs regarding extracurricular activities, athletics and recreational pursuits add to what is already a budget stretching situation for even middle class families.
A general statement can be made that courts do not typically show a willingness to go "above and beyond" the aforementioned guidelines for child support. For one child in Texas that means that 20 percent of a party's net income is due for child support if they are the non-primary parent. With that being said, a court can in appropriate situations adjust this amount based on the proven needs of a child. If the owing party shows an ability to pay additional amounts and a child is shown to have proven needs beyond what the statute holds then support above the guidelines may be in the offering.
The (not quite) million dollar question, then, is- what factors can a court consider in determining whether a child's proven needs necessitate a child support order above minimum guidelines? A complete list can be found in the Texas Family Code, section 154.123(b), but here are a handful that occur with some frequency:
- the age and needs of the child
- the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child
- any financial resources available for the support of the child
- special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child
- any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents
If you are in a situation where child support is an issue, the attorneys with The Law Office of Bryan Fagan are well equipped to assist you in considering your individual circumstances and how to best handle them. Whether you are the parent who could potentially owe child support or you're the parent who may be owed child support, we can help prepare your case for a courtroom.
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
- Texas Child Support Appeals
- In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
- Why Ignoring Child Support Obligations is a Bad Idea in Texas
- Texas Child Support – Trust and Annuities
- Special Needs Children in Texas Child Support Cases
LAW OFFICE OF BRYAN FAGAN | SPRING, TEXAS DIVORCE LAWYERS
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