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How is Child Support Calculated in Texas?

What is Child Support and How is it Calculated?

Child support in Texas is based on several factors. The Texas Family Code allows for one parent, or both parents to remit payment to the other for support of a child, though generally it is just one parent. Most commonly, the parent that does not have a child the majority of the time, can be ordered to pay support to the other parent for benefit of the child. This parent is sometimes referred to as the Noncustodial Parent (NCP) or obligor. Some states take into consideration both parent’s income when calculating support, but Texas almost always looks at the NCP’s income only.

Texas courts routinely order what is commonly called ‘Guideline Child Support.’ This phrase comes from the guidelines in the Texas Family Code for calculating child support. The court takes the obligor’s gross monthly income and applies up to five mandatory deductions: Social Security Taxes; Federal Income Tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction; State Income Tax; Union Dues; and Expenses for Health Insurance Coverage for Obligor’s Child. Once those deductions are applied, the court will apply a percentage to the net amount based on the number of children for which support is owed. This percentage can be affected if the obligor has other children for whom they owe a duty of support.

Will the court look at other factors?

The court has the discretion to consider other factors when determining a child support amount. An experienced attorney knows to bring up the Additional Factors that are found in the Texas Family Code. These additional factors include, but are not limited to: the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child; the amount of time of possession of and access to a child; the amount of the obligee’s net recourses, including the earning potential of the obligee, if the actual income of the obligee is significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee is intentionally unemployed or underemployed…;child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment; and, special or extraordinary educational, health care or other expenses of the parties or of the child.

These factors can be used to persuade the court to order child support either above the guidelines or below the guidelines, depending on the situation. It is important to discuss all of these potential additional factors with your attorney if you are involved in a case where child support is to be ordered.

With over two decades of combined experience handling an extensive range of family law matters all over South and Central Texas, the team at Clepper Harrison & Duffy PLLC are ready to work with you. We never shy away from even the most complex family law case. Our attorneys are litigators and collaborators, ready to utilize their experience and resources to give you efficient and effective representation at every stage of your case. Each attorney has been recognized through multiple avenues, and proudly share their awards on the firm website. Contact us today to schedule your initial meeting. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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