One of the most common questions parents ask when facing a divorce is "how much will child support be?" This is a sensitive consideration that needs to ensure the well-being of all the involved children and, in Texas, there are specific calculations the court will use to determine appropriate payments. Below, we take a closer look at these formulas and the special considerations that sometimes apply in these determinations.
Texas' Child Support Formula
The two main elements in the Texas child support formula are the net monthly income of the providing parent and the number of children being supported. Net monthly income is usually determined by taking the parent's gross annual income and then subtracting the necessary taxes and expenses (including health insurance if the involved children are covered under it). The Attorney General of Texas publishes tax charts each year that helps determine the net monthly resources of the obligor parent.
Once the net monthly income is determined, a certain percentage of that income will be ordered as child support. This percentage is dependent on how many children the parent will support.
The following percentages apply to Texas child support calculations:
- One child - 20 percent of net monthly income
- Two children - 25 percent of net monthly income
- Three children - 30 percent of net monthly income
- Four children - 35 percent of net monthly income
- Five children and up - at least 40 percent of the net monthly income
There are a few special considerations that may not apply to every divorce case but can still have a significant effect on a child support calculation. First, it's important to understand that there's an income cap on these calculations: only up to $8,550 of a parent's net monthly income can be used for these calculations.
The court will also take into consideration any pre-existing child support orders the providing parent may be under. If the parent is already providing child support to other children from another marriage or relationship, the court may lower the percentage of the net monthly income ordered in the new child support order.
Finally, it is important to note that while these guidelines apply to most child support situations, the court can adjust the amount if it would be in the child’s best interest because the child has needs above the guideline amounts.
Do you have questions about child support in your upcoming divorce? If so, then it is time to speak with legal counsel today. At Hunt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., our dedicated, knowledgeable Katy divorce attorneys take a compassionate, vigilant approach to all our clients' cases and ensure that their rights and interests are spoken for throughout every step of the legal process.
Get a proven advocate by your side during this uncertain time. Call our firm today.