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CHILD SUPPORT

Child support in Texas is strictly governed by the Texas Family Code. Specifically, the Texas Family Code sets "guideline" support from which the Court may not deviate unless the Court believes the amount of child support determined by the guidelines is "unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances." See Tex. Fam. Code Sec. 154.122. Guideline support is based on the number of children affected by the suit as follows:

Number of Children Percentage of Obligor's Net Monthly Resources
1 child 20% of Net Resources
2 children 25% of Net Resources
3 children 30% of Net Resources
4 children 35% of Net Resources
5 children 40% of Net Resources
6+ children No less than the amount for 5 children

If the parent paying child support (also called an "obligor") has other children s/he is obligated to support who are not involved in the case, the percentage of net resources will be slightly reduced based on the Multiple Family Adjusted Guidelines as seen in Tex. Fam. Code Sec. 154.129.

For child support calculation purposes, an obligor's net resources include:
  1. 100% of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
  2. Interest, dividends, and royalty income;
  3. Self-employment income;
  4. Net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); AND
  5. All other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, unemployment benefits, disability and workers' compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony.
The Court will deduct the following items from resources to determine the net resources available for child support:
  1. Social security taxes;
  2. Federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;
  3. State income tax;
  4. Union dues;
  5. Expenses for the cost of health insurance or cash medical support for the obligor's child ordered by the Court; AND
  6. If the obligor does not pay social security taxes, nondiscretionary retirement plan contributions.
If you are involved in a family law matter and have questions regarding child support, contact our office today for an initial consultation.

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