Like most states, Texas determines how much child support should be paid by one parent to the other based on a fairly rigid set of guidelines. Texas uses a formula called “percentage of income.” This formula calculates the noncustodial parent’s income, then calculates child support as a percentage of income depending on the number of children for whom support will be paid.
Unlike some other states, Texas does not automatically take into consideration the nonpaying parent’s income. Texas also does not automatically consider percentages of parenting time when calculating child support amounts. However, the family court judge may deviate from the child support guidelines and order payment or more or less child support based on certain factors – including the nonpaying parent’s income, the percentages of parenting time, etc.
To calculate the paying parent’s net income, the Texas child support add together all of the following:
- Wages and salaries, including tips, overtime, commissions and bonuses
- Self-employment income
- Net income from rental properties
- Interests, dividends and royalties
- Severance pay, retirement benefits or pensions, workers’ compensation payments, trust income, etc.
The following are excluded from the calculation of the paying parent’s net income:
- Welfare payments
- Accounts receivable from self-employment
- Income from a new spouse
- Loan repayments
The next step in calculation of the paying parent’s net income is subtraction of the following expenses:
- Health care insurance expenses being paid for the child in question
- Federal, state and Social Security taxes
- Union dues
Once the paying parent’s net monthly income has been determined, the calculation of child support to be paid is straightforward under Texas law. If the paying parent earns less than $7,500 per month, he or she will be ordered to pay:
- For one child, 20% of net income
- For two children, 25% of net income
- For three children, 30% of net income
- For four children, 35% of net income
- For five children, 40% of net income
- For six or more children, no less than 40% if net income
The Office of the Texas Attorney General offers an online child support calculator to help parents make preliminary calculations of approximate child support amounts.
Contact Kevin Buchanan for Answers to Questions About Child Support
Kevin Buchanan is a Dallas attorney offering family law clients skillful and experienced representation. He places a strong emphasis on fairness, and on treating all clients with dignity and respect. If you have questions about your rights with regard to collecting or paying child support, he would be pleased to review your circumstances and offer his opinion. To schedule a private consultation, fill out the online intake form or call (214) 378-9500.