Unless you and your spouse have resolved all issues in a divorce, your
Texas divorce will more than likely be considered "contested". If your case
is contested and goes to a court the Judge will be using the family code
child support. The following information will help you calculate child support so you
know what to expect.
Texas Family Code 154.001. SUPPORT OF CHILD.
(a) The court may order either or both parents to support a child in the
manner specified by the order:
- until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school,
whichever occurs later;
- until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the
disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law;
- until the death of the child; or
- if the child is disabled as defined in this chapter, for an indefinite period.
Step 1 – Determining Net Income
To calculate child support you must first calculate net income. Generally,
it is helpful to refer to the tax charts for the current year put out
by the Texas Attorney General. There are two charts that are put out for
- A chart for use with employed persons and
- A chart for use with self-employed persons
When using one of these charts you will find your gross monthly income
on the chart. To the right are four sets of numbers. The first three sets
of numbers next to the gross income are the taxes that will be taken out
of the gross monthly wages. The last number is your “net monthly
income.” This is the number that is used to calculate the amount of
child support you may owe.
Another thing that may adjust this number is if you provide health insurance
for this child. If that is the case, then you will get a slight offset
for health insurance that you pay for the child.
There is a Cap on Net Income for the Purposes of Child Support
Child support is determined in Texas based on a percentage of the paying
parent’s net income up to the first $8550/month of income.
If No Net Resources
If the parent paying
child support has no net resources, the court can impute income equal to minimum wage
under Texas Family Code Section 154.068.
- “In the absence of evidence of a party’s resources, as defined
by Section 154.062(b), the court shall presume that the party has income
equal to the federal minimum wage for a 40–hour week to which the
support guidelines may be applied.”
Step 2 – Calculating Child Support
Calculating child support in Texas is fairly straight forward. Once you
know your net monthly income per month a percentage of it will go toward
child support. This percentage is based upon how many children are before
Number of Children
Example 1 – Children Living in One house hold
Assume DAD has three children. Three live with the MOM. DAD’s monthly
net resources are $4,000. DAD’s
child support for the child before the court is calculated as follows:
Step 1 – The percentage of DAD’s monthly net resources for
the three children living in the same household is 30%, or $1,200 ($4,000 x 30%).
Sec. 154.125. APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES TO NET RESOURCES.
(a) The guidelines for the support of a child in this section are specifically
designed to apply to situations in which the obligor's monthly net
resources are not greater than $7,500 or the adjusted amount determined
under Subsection (a-1), whichever is greater.
(a-1) The dollar amount prescribed by Subsection (a) is adjusted every
six years as necessary to reflect inflation. The Title IV-D agency shall
compute the adjusted amount, to take effect beginning September 1 of the
year of the adjustment, based on the percentage change in the consumer
price index during the 72-month period preceding March 1 of the year of
the adjustment, as rounded to the nearest $50 increment. The Title IV-D
agency shall publish the adjusted amount in the Texas Register before
September 1 of the year in which the adjustment takes effect. For purposes
of this subsection, "consumer price index" has the meaning assigned
by Section 341.201, Finance Code.
Step Down Provisions
If you have more than one child, the amount of child support will change
over time. For example, if you have two children, the parent paying child
support will most likely be paying 25% of their net resources as child
support. When the first child graduates from high school the parent would
start paying 20% of their net resources as
Sole Discretion of Primary Parent
Child support can be used at the discretion of primary parent. The parent
who pays child support has no say on how that money is used.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
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- Can I get child support and custody of my kids in Texas if we were never married?
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and