After divorce or separation, one parent may have to pay child support. Our Texas family lawyer explains how it is calculated.
Parents who do not have primary possession of their child typically pay child support to the parent with primary possession. Children have a right to this support and so, the obligation remains even if the parent paying support is not allowed to see the child. Parents must pay support until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school. An indefinite support order may be issued when a child suffers from a mental or physical disability.
How is Child Support Determined in Texas?
The first step in determining child support amounts is to calculate the income of the paying parent. The sources of income considered include:
- Salary and wages, overtime, tips, commissions, and bonuses,
- Business and self-employment income,
- Royalty income, dividends, and interest,
- Retirement benefits, pensions, and social security,
- Disability, unemployment, and workers’ compensation benefits,
- Annuities, trust income, and capital gains,
- Gifts and prizes,
- Net rental income,
- Alimony, and
- Child support paid for children from another marriage.
After the total income has been calculated, certain items are subtracted from it. These include income taxes, social security taxes, union dues, and the amount spent on health and dental insurance and uninsured medical expenses. After these are subtracted, the court will divide the number by 12 to determine the total amount of the payer’s obligation.
The court will determine child support depending on whether your income meets a certain limit. Currently, this limit is $9,200 a month but it changes every six years due to inflation. If you earn $9,200 or less, you are required to pay the following depending on the number of children you have:
- 1 child: 20% of net income
- 2 children: 25% of net income
- 3 children: 30% of net income
- 4 children: 35% of net income
- 5 children: 40% of net income
- Six or more children: A minimum of 40% of net income
If you earn more than $9,200 per month, the child support obligation is the same percentage as above or up to 100% of your child’s needs, whichever is greater.
Modifying a Child Support Order
You can modify a child support order if it has been at least three years since the original was issued and if there has been a substantial change in your circumstances. If both of these apply, there are two ways to change child support in Texas. You can use the Child Support Review Process through the Texas Attorney General’s Office or attend a court hearing with a lawyer.
Our Family Lawyer in Texas Can Help with Your Child Support Issues
If you are going through a divorce or need to modify a child support order, our Texas family lawyer at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, can provide the sound advice you need. Call us now at (210) 222-9132 or fill out our online form to request a consultation and to learn more.