Child support can be set, modified and enforced. It can be part of the divorce or in a separate order in suit affecting the parent child relationship. The parties do not need to be married to obtain a child support order; however paternity must be established. The guidelines for child support pursuant to the Texas Family Code Section 154.125 are set up for instances where an obligor’s net monthly resources do not exceed $8550 a month.
- 1 child — 20% of Obligor’s net resources
- 2 children — 25% of Obligor’s net resources
- 3 children — 30% of Obligor’s net resources
- 4 children — 35% of Obligor’s net resources
- 5 children — 40% of Obligor’s net resources
- 6 + children — Not less than the amount for 5 children
In a divorce proceeding spousal support may be ordered for a limited duration depending on various factors such as the length of the marriage, education level of the parties, etc.
In addition, medical support can be set, modified and enforced. It can be part of the divorce or in a separate order in suit affecting the parent child relationship. It provides a mechanism for the courts to order the parents to provide health insurance for the children and for the non-custodial parent to assist with the cost of the premiums based on the non-custodial parent’s monthly gross income.
The maximum child support amount is $1710 per month for one child, $2137.50 for two children; and $2,565 for three children unless there are other children to be considered (see the multifamily table below).
How Do I Calculate My Child Support Payment in Texas?
Texas has a child support formula to determine the amount the state "presumes" is in the child’s best interest. Child support in Texas is determined by figuring out the average net monthly resources of the paying parent and applying guidelines established by the Texas legislature that require paying a percentage of those average net monthly resources in child support depending on how many children there are. The percentages are slightly different if the paying parent has a legal responsibility to also pay for other children who are not involved in the parents’ current dealings.
Calculate Average Net Monthly Resources
If you want to make a stab at calculating the amount of guideline child support in Texas yourself, you will need to calculate the paying parent's average net monthly resources. This is done by first calculating gross income on an annual basis.
Remember, when you calculate annual gross income, if you get paid a fixed amount, take the gross amount paid (without taking out taxes, social security, or other deductions) and multiply it by 52 if paid weekly, multiply it by 12 if paid monthly, by 24 if paid two times per month, or by 26 if paid every two weeks.
Include the following income in your annual gross income:
- One hundred percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
- Interest, dividends, and royalty income;
- Self-employment income;
- Net rental income (rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); and
- All other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement pay, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, disability and workers' compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, child support, and alimony.
Do not include in your gross income:
- Return of principal or capital on a note not included in net resources;
- Accounts receivable;
- Benefits paid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
- Payments for foster care; or
- Net resources of a new spouse.
Do the division to get your average monthly gross income, then subtract:
Divide the annual gross income you get by 12 to give you average monthly gross income, then subtract the following from the average monthly income to give you average net monthly resources:
- Social Security tax and federal income taxes paid for a single person (these taxes based one personal deduction and the standard deduction are figured for you for both salaried and self employed persons in the Texas Attorney General's 2016 Tax Charts);
- State income taxes;
- Union dues; and
- Child's health insurance cost or cash medical support.
Monthly Texas Child Support Guidelines
Before September 1, 2013, if the average net monthly resources are $7,500 or less, the amount of child support is calculated as a percentage of the average net monthly resources. On and after September 1, 2013 if the average net monthly resources are $8,550 or less, the amount of child support is calculated as a percentage of the average net monthly resources. To determine the amount of monthly child support, apply the percentages below in Table 1 to the average net monthly resources you just calculated.
Effect of Social Security or Disability Benefits on Texas Child Support
If the child receives Social Security or disability benefits from the paying spouse's old age social security or disability benefits, those amounts are subtracted from the total amount of child support as calculated under the Texas child support guidelines.
Our team at Kutty Law Firm is dedicated to providing clients with the comprehensive support that they need. To schedule an appointment, call today at 713-568-5401. We welcome clients from Montgomery, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties, as well as nearby areas of Texas.