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Know How to Calculate Child Support When Preparing for Your Texas Divorce

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 to calculate 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:

  1. until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later;
  2. until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law;
  3. until the death of the child; or
  4. 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 this purpose:

  1. A chart for use with employed persons and
  2. 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.

  1. “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 the court.

Support Percentage

Number of Children

Support Percentage

1

20%

2

25%

3

30%

4

35%

5

40%

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 child support.

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.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
  2. Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
  3. Can I Sue My Ex for Retroactive or Back Child Support in Texas?
  4. Child Support and College Tuition in Texas
  5. Texas Child Support Appeals
  6. In Texas are Child Support and Visitation Connected?
  7. Why Ignoring Child Support Obligations is a Bad Idea in Texas
  8. Can I get child support and custody of my kids in Texas if we were never married?
  9. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  10. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case

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.

Our 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, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Our blog features a wealth of knowledge pertaining to some of the most frequently asked family law questions.

    Read More
  • Sign Up For Our Free E-Course

    Click here to sign up for our free E-Course on Divorce! It has been specifically created to help people who are considering divorce and wish to learn more about the divorce process

    Sign Up Now
  • Schedule Your Free Consultation Now

    Schedule a risk-free consultation today and we can assess your case.

    Book Now
  • Meet With a Finance Specialist

    Discuss payment plan options and more with a finance specialist.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan
Spring Divorce Attorney
Located at: 17101 Kuykendahl Rd,
Houston, TX 77068
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Phone: (281) 810-9760
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.