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How Do I Calculate Child Support?

How do I calculate child support?

Contact, Dennis M. Slate, a Houston area Child Support Lawyer today

According to the Texas Family Code, there are three things the court must do in order to properly calculate a child support payment amount:

a. Determine the amount of the party’s income available for child support (net resources), and

b. Apply the child-support guidelines to the party’s net resources to determine the amount of child support owed, and

c. Consider any other factors that might justify the court deviating from the guideline child support amounts and to adjust the amount accordingly.

Determining the amount of income available for child support

First the court has to add up all the party’s net resources. The court is going to want to know a monthly amount of net resources, so if a party’s income is different from month to month, the court will usually take an average of the last 6 or 12 months of income. The following is a list of things the considered as monthly net resources/ income for child support purposes:

a. Wage and Salary income: this includes(not an exclusive list)

1) Salary

2) Bonuses

3) Overtime pay

4) Tips

5) Commissions

6) Allowances for items such as a vehicle or cell phone

b. Self-employment income

c. Severance Pay

d. Retirement Pay

e. Social Security Benefits

f. Unemployment benefits

g. Disability and worker’s compensation benefits

h. Alimony

i. Child support

j. Rental income

k. Interest income

l. Capital gains

m. Trust distribution

n. Annuity income

o. Gifts and prizes

p. Any other income actually received

Apply the child-support guidelines

Once the court adds up all the income it will subtract out any of the following items to find a monthly amount of net resources:

a. Federal income taxes paid; for one person claiming one personal and one standard deduction

b. State income taxes

c. Social security taxes

d. Non-discretionary retirement plan contributions(only if do not pay SS taxes)

e. Union Dues

f. Child health insurance or cash medical support

In most cases, only the first $7500 of the net resources is used in applying the guidelines to calculate child support. So if you actually make $15,000 per month, you child support amount will only be based on the first $7500 you make each month, unless the child has proven needs in excess of the amount of child support based on the first $7500.

If all of the obligor’s (party paying the child support) children reside in the same household, then the following chart shows the guideline percentages to be applied.

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

The following chart shows the guideline percentage to be applied if the obligor has children residing in more than one household.

Number of children before the Court

#of previous children

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

0

20.00

25.00

30.00

35.00

40.00

40.00

40.00

1

17.50

22.50

27.38

32.20

37.33

37.71

38.00

2

16.00

20.63

25.20

30.33

35.43

36.00

36.44

3

14.75

19.00

24.00

29.00

34.00

34.67

35.20

4

13.60

18.33

23.14

28.00

32.89

33.60

34.18

5

13.33

17.86

22.50

27.22

32.00

32.73

33.33

6

13.14

17.50

22.00

26.60

31.27

32.00

32.62

7

13.00

17.22

21.60

26.09

30.67

31.38

32.00

For example, suppose the obligor has 2 children from a prior relationship living with one mother, and now has 1 other child in front of the court on a child support case. Using the chart above, the court would use 16% as the multiplier against the obligor’s net resources.

Consider other factors

The court can also consider the following factors:

a. The age and needs of the child

b. The child’s educational expenses after high school

c. Payment of health insurance and uninsured medical expenses

d. Extraordinary medical, educational, healthcare, or other expenses

e. Any other resources available for the child’s support

f. Whether the party has custody of another child(i.e. split custody of children)

g. Each party’s period of possession of and access to the child

h. Travel costs for exercising possession and access to the child

i. Child care expenses to allow the party to maintain employment

j. Each parents ability to contribute to the child

k. The obligee’s net resources to care for the child, including earning potential

l. Spousal maintenance paid or received by a party

m. Whether the party has a car, housing or other benefit provided by an employer another person, or a business.

n. Other types of paycheck deductions

o. Cash flow from businesses or investments

p. Debts assumed by either party

q. The child’s best interest

This gives you an overview of how child support is calculated in Texas. If you think you might need help having your child support raised, lowered, or just get it started, please call or email me today. 281.476.9447

Dennis

Here at the Dennis M. Slate, Attorney at Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation issues, child support, spousal support, juvenile, domestic violence, property division grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have 3 Houston area locations including Deer Park, Houston, and Porter, Texas. Call our offices today and we can set an appointment with an attorney: (281) 407-9254.

  • Board Certified in Texas Family Law

    Find out what it means to be Board Certified and how a family law specialist can protect your rights during your case.

    Learn About this Qualification
  • Always Focused on Your Best Interests

    Divorce does not have to be stressful. Our dedicated legal team has helped countless families achieve their goals quickly and favorably.

    Achieve a Peaceful Resolution
  • Ready to Help You Through the Process

    When it comes to family law matters, it is important that you have a seasoned attorney on your side. Contact us to learn more.

    Tell Us About Your Case

Contact Us

Dennis M. Slate, Attorney at Law
Deer Park Divorce Attorney
Located at: 112 East Forrest Lane,
Deer Park, TX 77536
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Phone: (281) 407-9254
Local Phone: (281) 476-9447
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