The amount of child support paid by a parent in Texas gets calculated by multiplying the net income of the parent by a stator percentage. According to Texas law, courts are able to order support to get paid when the parents are living separately, regardless if they share child custody. Given the fact that the way things are calculated is based on the parent’s net income, the amount that gets paid will not be too high for the parent to afford. It is important to contact a Texas family law attorney to help explain child support so that you do not get taken advantage of.
Step 1 – Determine what income is to be included:
The Maximum Amount
To put it in layman’s terms, technically there is no cap in the family code set up within the Texas law that dictates a maximum amount possible when it comes to child support. This means that there is no absolute maximum amount that can be awarded. It has also been reinforced in 2017 in a case that was taken up before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas, which reaffirmed that the law enables courts to take into consideration relevant factors when the amount of support is being determined. In addition, trial courts are able to set the amount above the amount of what is presumed to be in the child’s best interest as explained by the family code.
How Is Child Support Calculated In Texas?
First, the net income of the paying parent needs to be calculated. This includes their gross income, as well as prizes and gifts. Once gross income is calculated, social security taxes, federal income tax, union dues, and health insurance premiums are all subtracted from the resulting amount. The figure resulted from this is considered the parent’s net income. (Ideally, it should be calculated for the whole year and then simply divided by 12).
In order to determine the amount of support necessary, the net monthly income is multiplied by the percentage for the number of children the money is paid for (20% for one child, and then 5% for each additional child). This only applies if the parent’s monthly income is under $7,500. If the amount is greater, then the court could order additional support.
For How Long Is Support Necessary?
Support needs to be paid until the child is 18 years old, and in case they are in high school and are attending regularly then a court can order that support be paid until they graduate. Depending on the condition set up in the divorce settlement, the paying parent might have to continue paying support when the child goes to college or to share the college expenses. In addition, if the child suffers from a physical or mental disability, the court is able to order for support to get paid for an indefinite period. Getting married, becoming emancipated, or enlisting in the military are all grounds for support to end.
Changing the Amount of Support
There are various circumstances that can be grounds for support to be modified. If the parent is unable to pay support as a result of financial problems, the court can be asked to make the amount smaller. However, if the financial situation has improved, the parent who receives support can ask the court for the amount to be increased. If the receiving parent’s income situation changes that could also constitute as grounds for the amount to be increased.
The person who asks for a modification will have to show to the court that the circumstances have changed substantially IF the request is being made within less than three years since the order took place. If the request is being made after three years, then the person making the request has to show that the amount under the current guidelines differ by $100 or 20% from the amount that was originally ordered.
If you would like to learn more about child support in the state of Texas, please call any of our convenient locations to speak with a family law attorney to get a free consultation.
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