How to Calculate Child Support in Texas
Child support issues may be a tough and complicated topic. We go the extra mile to assist parents in doing what is best for their kids because of the delicate nature of child custody and support situations. Our objective is to assist our clients in achieving the desired conclusion. Our skilled and knowledgeable family law attorneys are here to assist you during this difficult time.
We can assist you with your child custody case, as well as walk you through the child support procedure when it comes to Texas’ child support rules.
Texas Child Support, Medical Support, and Dental Support
In Texas, it’s more common for the noncustodial parent to make child support payments than for custodial parents to do so. They may also be ordered to contribute financially to medical and dental costs. A noncustodial parent is the parent who was not granted custody of the child. This individual can be a possessory conservator, a joint managing conservator, or nothing at all.
In many situations, parents can establish their own negotiated child support, medical assistance, dental care, and other arrangements together. They’ll submit their agreement to the court, and if the judge thinks it is in the child’s best interests, he or she will approve it.
However, if your youngster has received Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the attorney general’s office will get involved as well.
Whether you agree as parents or just want to know what to anticipate when it comes to child support payments, you’ll need a non-biased third party such as a law firm or a mediator. This party may also assist you in creating a parenting plan that works for all concerned parties. It’s important to include medical and dental care, as well as child custody and support arrangements, in this document.
If you’re not sure where to begin, the state’s child support standards are a good place to start.
Child Support Calculator – Texas
Custodial parents are entitled to receive child support in order to cover the costs of raising a child or children. This includes things like:
- Child Care
The court may order either or both parents to pay child support, depending on the circumstances. It’s also true that, in most cases, the non-custodial parent (the one who spends the least amount of time with the child or children) is responsible for the support. They are called upon to fulfill their obligations (obligor).
The noncustodial parent’s income and the number of children are used to calculate the amount he or she must pay in support. Texas legislation establishes a formula for determining how much the noncustodial parent should contribute toward child support. The judge will generally adhere to these guidelines, but if the circumstances allow, they may deviate. The calculation does not take your amount of time with the kid or children into account, nor does it account for your type of conservatorship.
If you are a noncustodial parent, the Texas child support calculator or the instructions below can help you estimate your support payments.
1. Calculate monthly net income
Begin calculations with your yearly gross income. This means the money you receive in a year from the following:
- Job or contractor compensation
- Unemployment benefits
- Social Security retirement
- Investment income
- Rental property income
- Social Security disability payments
- Any other income
Do not include your spouse’s pay, assets, foster care payments, or TANF support. Supplemental Security Income SSI is also excluded.
If you’ve chosen not to work and/or wish to make as little money as possible, the court may decide to calculate your gross income based on working 40 hours per week at minimum wage.
To compute your monthly gross income, divide your yearly gross earnings by 12. The amount of your typical monthly gross revenue is the result. Subtract from this number what you spend each month for:
- Medical Support
- Dental Support
- State income tax
- Federal income tax (using single person rates)
- Union dues
- Social Security tax
This is your monthly net income or net resources after taxes.
If your monthly net income is more than $9,200, the basic child support standards do not apply and you should seek legal counsel.
2. Determine the number of eligible children
According to the Texas Family Code, children in Texas are eligible for assistance until they reach the age of 18 years old or graduate from high school, whichever comes first. Children who have impairments may be eligible for a longer period than normal; typically, until they recover from their condition or reach a pre-determined age or date.
Children who are emancipated, get married, or enlist in the military before reaching adulthood are not qualified.
You’ll want to keep track of the number of qualifying children for the case in question, as well as any other qualifying children.
3. Determine how much you owe based on qualifying dependents
This chart indicates the proportion of net income you will hand over to the custodial parent each month.
The top row indicates the number of children who may be eligible for child support in your current court case. Any other qualified children you are represented by the left column. If your present case is for one child and you have two additional eligible children, this percentage is 16%.
4. Multiply your monthly net income by the percentage
Take the percentage from step three and multiply it by your monthly net income from step one. For example, if your monthly net income is $5,000 then you would multiply it by 16% to get $800 (5000 x 0.16 = 800).
In this situation, you would be required to pay $800 each month in child support to the custodial parent under the recommendation.
The amount of child support that the state requires you to pay is determined each month, depending on which children are considered eligible. As your situation changes, you may have to lower your monthly payment. If you need to decrease the amount of money you’re paying in child support, speak with a lawyer.
Child Support Payment Options
Child support isn’t always paid on a monthly basis. The court may order child support on an alternate timetable, as a lump sum, as part of the property settlement, or even as an annuity investment if necessary. Back child support is another term for retroactive child support, which refers to financial payments made in the past by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the support of a qualifying child.
If you have any questions about how to calculate child support in Texas, speak with an attorney. A lawyer can help ensure that you’re meeting your obligations and that the amount of support is fair.
Child Support Enforcement
If a parent isn’t paying their court-ordered child support, then it’s a good idea to consult your lawyer for legal advice. Failing to comply with a child support order has serious consequences. These consequences include:
- Interest Charges
- License suspension
- Community supervision
- Jail time
These are just some of the consequences. The state of Texas takes child support enforcement very seriously.
There are times when determining the child support obligation may be more difficult. Some variables, such as 50/50 possession, make monthly child support calculations more complicated. In these situations, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney right away.
An attorney can help you navigate both the custody and support sides of things so you and the other parent may do what’s best for the child or children. They have the knowledge and experience to walk you through all aspects of determining physical custody arrangements, any spousal maintenance, visitation, and anything else that might come up in your situation.
If your life situation changes due to marriage, the birth of another child, or a change in income then you may qualify for a child support modification.
We at Ilarraza Law are well-versed in the intricacies of custody and support cases. Our office has the resources you’ll need to get through this trying time. For additional information, please visit our website or contact our offices at 214-646-3253.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I entitled to alimony in my Texas Divorce?
While the state of Texas does have alimony, most divorce cases involving alimony are agreed upon privately rather than being court-ordered. It is possible to request the court to order alimony or spousal support payments, but the court tends to be very strict about determining who is eligible to receive these payments.
Can you get alimony and child support at the same time?
Yes. Alimony or spousal support is considered separate from child support. Alimony is not considered to be a part of child support or the division of marital property.
What does an amicus attorney do?
An amicus attorney is an attorney assigned to a family law case involving children, such as child custody cases. They provide the court with assistance in making sure the court’s decisions align with the child’s best interests.
Can I pay Texas child support with vouchers?
It is not acceptable in the state of Texas to pay child support using food stamps, vouchers, or any other indirect financial contribution without a court order.
How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Texas?
Extraordinary medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child or children are added to basic child support obligations and divided among parents according to their proportion of adjusted actual income.
How do I stop a child support order?
In order to stop a child support order, a petition to terminate child support withholding needs to be filed in the same court you originally established the child support payments. This is sometimes done when parents come to an agreement outside of what has been court-ordered or if the child has passed away, become emancipated, or if genetic testing shows that a parent isn’t the father of the child.
How does remarriage affect child support?
The Texas Family Code states that a new spouse’s income does not have any impact on child support payments.
If you are unemployed, can child support get taken out of unemployment benefits?
Yes. The Texas Workforce Commission will withhold child support from unemployment benefits at a rate of up to 50%.
What if extra child support was paid voluntarily but you can no longer continue to do so?
If you’ve been voluntarily paying more child support than what was ordered and you no longer can afford to do so, then you may drop your payments down to the court-ordered amount. It is important that you pay at least what the child support order states.
If you wish to recoup some of the overpaid money and still have ongoing child support obligations for the child, then it’s likely that the overpayment will simply be added to your future obligations. However, if the child support order has been terminated you can file suit to recover the overpayment.
What if both parents are working, will child support cover childcare services?
If the child is of an age where they will require childcare, it’s important to understand that the amount of child support being paid does not cover childcare expenses. Child support is intended to help cover the costs of basic necessities such as food, clothing, and housing. It doesn’t generally cover the expenses associated with nannies, babysitters, daycare, or preschool. However, the court may award additional expense coverage in some cases. This is why it is so important to work with an attorney experienced in child custody and child support cases.