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How Is Child Support Calculated in Texas?

Parents owe a duty of support to their children. Since they are our children,  few of us parents think of the support we provide them as a duty—most of us see it as an honor and a privilege. Nevertheless, the State of Texas has determined a mechanism for calculating child support in a Texas divorce, and they’ve landed on a relatively straightforward process.

The Texas Child Support Calculation

In Texas, the noncustodial parent (the parent whom the child doesn’t live with primarily) owes 20 percent of his or her net resources in child support (for one child) to the custodial parent (the parent whom the child lives with primarily). This percentage goes up five percent for each child—up to a total of five children (for five children and more, the noncustodial parent owes the custodial parent 40 percent of his or her net income). There are, of course, exceptions to this calculation, but this is generally how child support is calculated in Texas.

What Income Is Included In The Child Support Calculation?

The noncustodial parent’s income that’s included in the child support calculation incorporates a wide variety of sources:

  • All wages and income from salaries
  • Any overtime pay
  • All commissions earned
  • All tips received
  • All bonuses received
  • All net rental income
  • All income from self-employment
  • All income from interest, dividends, annuities, capital gains, and royalties
  • Other income, including severance pay, retirement and pensions, social security benefits, unemployment, workers’ compensation; disability, gifts and prizes; spousal maintenance; and alimony

Texas takes a comprehensive approach when it comes to what part of the noncustodial parent’s income is subject to being included in the child support calculation.

What If My Ex Is Unemployed

If the noncustodial parent is unemployed or is purposely underemployed (choosing to work at a job where he or she makes less money than he or she otherwise would), the court can rectify for these issues. The court can calculate according to the amount that it believes the noncustodial parent is capable of earning or by—in the case of the unemployed parent—calculating for the federal minimum wage on a standard 40-hour work week.

Income Cap

For those noncustodial parents with higher earnings, Texas sets an income cap of $8,550 per month. Any amount that the noncustodial parent earns over this amount usually won’t be included in the child support calculation.

If You’re Facing a Divorce, Contact a Katy, Texas, Divorce Attorney

Every divorce is difficult, and child support is an important factor in nearly every divorce that involves children. Though the child support calculation method implemented in Texas is straightforward, there are myriad variables that can come into play. If you are facing a divorce in Texas, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to help you navigate the process as painlessly as possible. Attorney Frank J. Vendt at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., focuses on solution-based legal guidance, and he’s here to help. Schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt today by calling our office at (832) 263-6770 or by contacting us online.

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