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Calculating Child Support in Texas

Texas uses pretty straightforward mathematical calculations to determine how much child support must be paid by the parent who does not have primary custody (called “possession” in Texas) of the joint child or children. Many states use a formula that takes into consideration both parents’ income when calculating child support. Texas, however, considers only the income of the parent who will be paying child support.

The Texas child support guidelines calculate child support as a percentage of the paying parent’s net income, with the percentage increasing as the number of joint children increases. Net income is determined by subtracting income taxes, health insurance costs for the child in question, and union dues from gross income. For the purposes of child support calculations in Texas, gross income is calculated as the sum of:

  • Wages and salaries, including commissions, tips, overtime, and bonuses
  • Retirement or pension benefits, severance pay, worker’s compensation payments, and trust income
  • Self-employment income
  • Net income from rental properties
  • Interests, dividends and royalties

The following types of income do not apply toward the calculation of gross income:

  • Income from a new spouse
  • Loan repayments received
  • Welfare payments received
  • Accounts receivable from self-employment

Once net income has been calculated, child support is calculated as a percentage of net income as follows:

  • For one child, 20% of net income
  • For two children, 25% of net income
  • For three children, 30% of net income
  • For four children, 35% of net income
  • For five children, 40% of net income
  • For six or more children, no less than 40% if net income

It is important to note that the family court judge may enter a child support order that differs from the amount of child support that would be due under the statutory guidelines. The judge may consider many factors when deciding whether to deviate from the Texas child support guidelines, including how much parenting time the paying parent has and how the paying parent’s income compares to the nonpaying parent’s income.

You can do a quick child support calculation using the Office of the Texas Attorney General’s online child support calculator.

Child support payments are an important factor in post-divorce life, both for the paying parent and the nonpaying parent. It is critical to get the calculation right the first time, to avoid spending additional money and time requesting a child support modification in family court. Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, has provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and child support matters for 8 years. For an initial assessment and consultation of your child support case, contact us online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

 
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