Calculating Child Support in Texas

parents with kids

Child support is a critical financial responsibility that arises when parents separate or divorce. In Texas, as in many other states, child support ensures that the needs of the child are met, even when parents are living apart. Understanding how child support is calculated is crucial for both custodial and non-custodial parents. In this blog, we will explore the factors and guidelines used in Texas to determine child support payments.

Texas Child Support Guidelines

Texas follows specific guidelines for calculating child support, which are outlined in the Texas Family Code. These guidelines consider the income of the non-custodial parent and the number of children involved. The guidelines provide a standard formula for determining the amount of child support owed, which is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's net resources.

Determining Net Resources

To calculate child support, the court first determines the non-custodial parent's net resources. Net resources include income from all sources, such as wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, rental income, and self-employment income, minus certain deductions like taxes, Social Security, and health insurance premiums. In some cases, imputed income may be used if the court believes that a parent is purposefully unemployed or underemployed to avoid paying child support.

Percentage of Net Resources for Child Support

The percentage of net resources used to calculate child support varies based on the number of children. For one child, it is 20% of the non-custodial parent's net resources, increasing incrementally for each additional child, with a maximum of 40% for five or more children.

Additional Expenses

In addition to the basic child support amount, the court may also consider certain additional expenses, such as medical and dental insurance, daycare costs, and extraordinary medical expenses. These expenses are typically divided proportionally between the parents based on their incomes.

Shared Custody and Visitation Credit
When the child spends a significant amount of time with the non-custodial parent, shared custody or visitation credit may apply. This credit is designed to account for the additional expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent during their parenting time and can result in a reduction of child support payments.

Deviation from Guidelines

While the Texas child support guidelines are usually followed, the court has the discretion to deviate from them in certain circumstances. Factors that may justify a deviation include the child's special needs, educational expenses, and the non-custodial parent's financial hardships. However, any deviation must be supported by evidence and must be in the best interests of the child.

Modification of Child Support

Child support orders can be modified in Texas if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This could include a significant increase or decrease in the non-custodial parent's income, changes in the child's needs, or changes in custody arrangements.

Calculating child support in Texas requires a thorough understanding of the guidelines and legal principles involved. By familiarizing yourself with the factors that influence child support calculations and seeking professional guidance, you can ensure a fair and accurate determination that prioritizes the best interests of your child.

At Brandon Reese Law Firm, we specialize in family law matters, including calculating child support in Texas. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized and knowledgeable legal representation.

If you need assistance with child support calculations or any other family law issues, contact us today for a consultation.

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