Child support is a set monthly payment that is paid by a non-custodial spouse to a custodial spouse to provide for the regular expenses of the children from a marriage. This allows a non-custodial spouse to fulfill his or her parental duties.In Texas, physical custody always determines who will pay child support. The parent who has physical custody will always be the recipient parent and the parent who does not have physical custody of the kids (regardless of whether or not he or she has legal custody) will pay the child support if ordered by the court.
How Does Child Support Get Calculated in Texas?
The courts calculate child support payments based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. The lawyers at Bailey Reyes, PLLC can estimate how much the state will expect you to pay in minimum child support by doing a simple calculation following the guidelines set forth by the Texas Attorney General's office.
These guidelines require child support to be calculated as a percentage of the first $9,200 per month of the payer’s (Obligor’s) net resources subject to the following caps per number of children:1 Child20% of Obligor’s Net Resources (cap of $1,840)2 Children25% of Obligor’s Net Resources (cap of $2,300)3 Children30% of Obligor’s Net Resources (cap of $2,760)4 Children35% of Obligor’s Net Resources (cap of $3,220)5 Children40% of Obligor’s Net Resources (cap of $3.680)6 or more Children
The court will evaluate all wages, salary, commissions, tips, overtime and bonuses as income for calculation purposes. This also includes any government benefits, severance pay or retirement benefits. The courts will also factor in alimony, gifts, prizes, and other costs.
These guidelines may be decreased based on the number of children an Obligor has from a previous relationship that he or she also supports. The court also may vary from the guidelines based on (i) the needs of the children, (ii) the ability of the Obligor to pay child support, (iii) debts the Obligor assumed as part of the divorce, (iv) travel expenses incurred for visitation, and (v) whether the Obligor is supporting another child attending college.
Net resources is a broadly defined term. It essentially includes an Obligor’s monthly gross income from all sources less payroll taxes, federal income taxes, union dues and health insurance premiums paid for the children (which Texas courts often require the Obligor to pay). If an Obligor’s net resources are more than $9,200 per month, the court will generally apply the above percentages to the first $9,200 of net resources, but may order an additional amount of child support calculated on the excess.
Assuming the Obligor is employed, child support may be deducted directly from his or her paychecks. Absent marriage or other acts that will cause a child to be considered an adult, child support payments will continue until a child reaches age eighteen (18) or graduates from high school, whichever is later. If, however, a child is disabled or incapacitated, child support payments could continue indefinitely past age eighteen (18).
Want to know how to file for child support in Houston, TX? Whether you are seeking support or you are resisting it, Bailey Reyes, PLLC can help. Don't hesitate to contact a Houston child support lawyer today for more information. They are committed to providing high-quality service for Texas couples looking to divorce.