The State of Texas uses a specific formula to determine how much child support payments are. These numbers, however, can be adjusted based on a variety of factors, and because of this, having an experienced child support lawyer on your team can make a big difference in your financial future.
The Texas Child Support Calculator
Texas calculates child support based on a percentage of the paying parent’s income. To give you a rough idea, here are some examples:
- One child from the marriage = 20% of the obligor’s income
- Two children from the marriage = 25% of the obligor’s income
- Three children from the marriage = 30% of the obligor’s income
- Four children from the marriage = 35% of the obligor’s income
- Five children from the marriage = 40% of the obligor’s income
Forty percent is the maximum, even if there are more than 5 kids.
The Parent Receiving Child Support Can Ask For More
The obligee (the parent receiving the child support payments) can petition the court for a higher monthly amount if the child has special needs or under other circumstances. So the above figures are “minimums” in a way. A child may be awarded a higher amount of support if they have, for example, costly ongoing medical treatments or they are an Olympic-caliber athlete with coaching and travel expenses that most kids wouldn’t have.
What Is Considered Income?
For the purpose of determining child support in Texas, the court looks at your net income – meaning how much money you make after deducting taxes, retirement contributions, and insurance costs. Net income is also called “take-home” pay. Some things Texas will not count as income include:
- Federal assistance benefits
- Dividends (or principal) on investments
- If either of you remarries, income from a new spouse
- Payments for other children you may receive (including foster children)
- For self-employed individuals, accounts receivable
One factor Texas takes into account is how much time the paying parent (“obligor”) has access to or custody (conservatorship) of each child. There are different types of custody arrangements, including dividing custody fairly evenly, one parent might have primary possession while the other parent only has visitation and everything in between. The custody arrangement will play a role in the child support order, as the parent with more possession of the child will contribute more to the child’s daily expenses.
Fathers Seeking Custody and Support
The common stereotype involves the kids living with the mother full-time while dad, who is paying maximum child support, gets the kids every other weekend. However, things have changed, and the law upholds a father’s custody and support rights. You have nothing to lose by seeking joint custody – or even sole custody if it is appropriate in your situation. Along with custody, our attorneys can review your right to seek child support, as well.
Need a Sugar Land Child Support Lawyer?
Jamie Jordan, PLLC, is a Sugar Land child support attorney with over 10 years of experience handling all types of family law matters. Whether you need to modify or start child support, contact our office today for a free consultation.