Guideline Child Support in Texas 1

Most people who are undergoing a divorce worry about the child support guideline. When child custody is an issue, it’s common for parents to wonder how much child support is imposed by the state of Texas on a monthly basis.
The The Rights and Duties of Texas Parents vary by case. If you are the parent who stays with the child and provides care regularly, you would surely be concerned about the amount you receive for child support. It’s easy to worry that the amount you will receive will not be enough for the needs of your child.
If you are the parent who needs to pay child support, your main concern should be all about how the ordered amount will be too big for you. You must be worried right now that the amount the court will ask you to pay would be difficult to come up with monthly.
Must-Know Facts About Modifying Child Support in Texas
The State of Texas has a set amount of child support that the parent who doesn’t have the custody of the child needs to pay monthly. This needs to be paid to the parent who has the custody of the child.
There will always be debates about the exact amount parents need to pay for child support depending on the income, the set amount is still imposed by the court.
You may wonder which situations call for modifications of the court of the child support amount. We will discuss it further in this article.

Calculating the Amount You Need to Pay Based on the Texas Child Support Guideline

The first figure you need if you want to know how much child support you’re going to pay or receive is your monthly income. You need the amount before taxes and deductions are deducted from your monthly salary.
This income is also referred to as gross income. This amount will also include all other forms of income such as the ones from investments, real estate, businesses and even disability pay.
You then need to calculate your monthly net income, by deducting amounts for health insurance, taxes, and other dues. Note that if you earn more than $8550.00 every month, you will only be paying child support according to this income. All other income will not be counted, so you won’t need to calculate your income beyond this amount.
Based on the Texas Family Code, you can find the right percentage to multiply to your monthly income in order to find the amount that should be your set monthly child support payment.

When You Have Other Children

All your children that you have the duty to support are relevant in the calculation, so don’t focus only on the children involved in the current divorce case. You will get an offset with regards to the number of other children you have outside of the current child custody or divorce case. The offset can range from 20% to 40% depending on the number of children you are supporting.

When the Court Orders a Higher Amount than the Standard Child Support Guideline

You might wonder what situation calls for a higher amount than the standard child support guideline set by the State of Texas and the Texas Family Code.

The most common case where the judge orders an amount higher than the child support guideline is when the parent who needs to pay child support has a significantly higher income than the parent who is supposed to receive child support.

Another common case is when the child has special needs such as expensive medical treatment.

The court originally does not automatically makes adjustments to the child support guideline. Therefore, you will have to show evidence that the amount stated in the guideline is inappropriate. You will also need to show the court the amount that is more reasonable.

Factors that the Court Considers

There are also certain factors that the court needs to consider when you make a request for an amount higher than the child support guideline.

These factors include individual needs of each child, special needs, financial status of each parent, educational expenses, and the time each parent spends with each child.

For example, if you are already paying for private school fees, private tutors, and other educational expenses (see Things to Think About Before Changing Schools After the Divorce), the judge is likely not going to increase the amount more than the child support guideline.

There are also practical factors that affect the judge’s decision. These real-world factors include health insurance, travel costs and the division of common property. If the marital estate was divided in a disproportionate manner, and you were the recipient of the smaller share, the court is less likely to order an amount that is higher than the child support guideline.

If you are the parent who got the most of the debts from the marriage and you are also the one expected to pay child support, it is also less likely that the judge will order you to pay child support that is higher than the guidelines.

Issues about child support and child custody are bound to get complicated. It’s also a sensitive issue to deal with, so make sure to get stable counsel from a trustworthy attorney. There are skilled family attorneys you can contact who will provide you with a free consultation.
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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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