In divorce or custody cases, people often ask about Texas’ mandatory child support payments. Primary caregivers during the week may worry if the court-ordered amount covers all expenses. Meanwhile, those expected to pay child support fear it may be unaffordable monthly.
Texas sets a standard child support amount for noncustodial parents, based on the number of children. There’s debate over the fairness of calculating the owing parent’s net income, but it’s the current law.
Today’s blog post delves into when courts might alter child support obligations. It specifically addresses circumstances where a court might order payment above the Texas Family Code’s specified amount.
Background on the Calculation of Child Support in Texas
To determine your child support obligation, start by calculating your monthly gross income before taxes and deductions. This gross income includes all earnings from sources such as salary, investments, rental income, and disability pay.
Next, subtract expenses like social security taxes, health insurance premiums, and union dues from your gross income to find your net monthly income. This net amount serves as the basis for calculating your child support obligation.
If you earn over $8,550 per month, your child support obligation caps at the $8,550 income level; the calculation does not consider earnings beyond this amount.
The Texas Family Code provides a chart for calculating child support. To determine the amount, you must apply a specific percentage that depends on the number of children in your current divorce or custody case, as well as any other children you have a duty to support outside this case.
For children you support who are not part of the ongoing custody or divorce case, an offset applies. The required child support percentage of your monthly net income varies from 20% for one child to 40% for five or more children.
When Is It Appropriate for a Court to Order a Child Support Payment Greater Than the Guidelines Amount?
To change the child support guideline amount, present evidence to the court that the amount is unjust or inappropriate according to the Texas Family Code. The parent receiving support must then justify the proposed amount’s reasonableness and correctness.
Judges consider many factors when reviewing requests for child support above guideline amounts. These include each child’s needs, parental access frequency, and both parents’ financial situations. Educational expenses, especially for private schooling or daycare, are key considerations. If you cover these costs, a judge may not order extra child support beyond the guidelines.
Judges also look at practical aspects, like health insurance costs for the children, travel expenses for both parents during child possession, and how the marital estate was divided. If you, the supporting parent, got less of the community estate or took on most marital debts, the court is less likely to require additional child support beyond the guideline amount.
Questions on Child Support? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
While I could not get into every minute detail of Texas Child Support laws in this blog post, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC does offer free of charge consultations if you have additional questions. A licensed family law attorney with our office is available six days a week to meet with you and have your questions answered. Across southeast Texas, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan has earned a reputation for strong and effective advocacy of our clients. We would be honored to have the opportunity to speak with you about your family law case and to answer any questions that you may have.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Can my Texas Driver’s License Be Suspended for Not paying Child Support?
- Child Support Modification in Texas (Part 1)
- 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?
- Texas Child Support – Trust and Annuities
- Special Needs Children in Texas Child Support Cases
- How to get above guideline child support.
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC 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.
Bryan Fagan, a native of Atascocita, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney inspired by John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief.” He is the first lawyer in his family, which includes two adopted brothers. Bryan’s commitment to family is personal and professional; he cared for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s while completing his degree and attended the South Texas College of Law at night.
Married with three children, Bryan’s personal experiences enrich his understanding of family dynamics, which is central to his legal practice. He specializes in family law, offering innovative and efficient legal services. A certified member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Bryan is part of an elite group of legal professionals committed to ongoing education and high-level expertise.
His legal practice covers divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, adoption, paternity, and mediation. Bryan is also experienced in drafting marital property agreements. He leads a team dedicated to complex family law cases and protecting families from false CPS allegations.
Based in Houston, Bryan is active in the Houston Family Law Sector of the Houston Bar Association and various family law groups in Texas. His deep understanding of family values and his professional dedication make him a compassionate advocate for families navigating Texas family law.