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Texas Child Support Laws and Guidelines

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Texas Child Support

Do you live in Texas, and you need to deal with a Child Support case? If so, you are not alone. Texas is one of the states where child support topics have been searched online the most. So, in order to help you in this matter, we gathered the most essential details about Texas Child Support Laws. You can read it all down below;

Every state in the US uses a set of Guidelines to determine their Child Support orders in court. These guidelines can be different in different states. The state of Texas has certain child support guidelines that are different from some other states too. So, let’s look at our overall features of the Guidelines of Texas Child Support Laws.

Sides in Texas Child Support Laws

In child support cases, typically one parent becomes responsible for paying the support payments to the other parent who is holding custody of the children and living with them. Sometimes the custody might be shared between parents. But even in that case, the side that lives with the child the most time will deal with the majority of the expenses of the child. Hence, they are the side that receives the child support payments.

This aspect stays true to most other states in Texas. One of the details which you may find confusing is the naming of these sides. Sometimes, in the cases of Texas Child Support Laws, the side who pays the support payment is named as “obligor”, and “obligee” is the term for the side who receives this payment.

Duration of Texas Child Support Laws

In most states of the US, child support continues until the child in the case becomes an adult legally. This is how child support guidelines define the duration in general. Texas uses a similar set of rules as well.

In Texas, the court can order one side, or depending on the case both sides, to provide financial support to the child up until the child reached the age of 18. However, this is not a strict limit. If the child advances through education and goes to high school, and becomes 18 while studying there, the time extends. In this case, the courts in Texas order the obligor side to continue paying the child support until the child graduates from high school.

There are some exceptional circumstances too. According to the guidelines for Texas Child Support Laws, if the child gets married before the time determined by the court for the support to stop, the obligation on the parent who pays the support gets abolished.

Additionally, some disabilities the child has can make the Texas courts extend the child support duration. However, if somehow these disabilities get healed or reduced to a certain level, the court may end the child support as well.

Also, there were some questions about this topic, so it is better to make it clear. As long as there is no order from the divorce case, independently from the child support case, about one side providing financial support to the other side, the child support obligation ends if the child deceases. A sad thing to think, but it may happen…

Calculating Texas Child Support

As we mentioned earlier, in different states in the US the courts can use different sets of guidelines for child support cases. This difference can include the method which is used to calculate the amount of payment as well.

There are different models designed for these calculations. While there are models that take only the child’s expenses into consideration, other models calculate the amount of income the parent has and takes a percentage from it regardless of the expenses. Some child support models take net incomes, others take gross incomes while calculating. The method used in child support cases in Texas is a unique and hybrid design.

First of all, child support payments in Texas are calculated based on the monthly net income of the parent. However, according to the Texas Child Support Laws, the court determines this net income by taking the person’s gross income in a year and diving the summation into twelve in order to find an average gross income. Then the court calculates a net income from this number.

During the process of assessing the gross incomes, all the wages, interests, investment incomes, pensions, rentals, and extra incomes the individual has in a year are taken into consideration. Then expenses such as social security taxes; federal income tax; state income tax; union dues; and health insurance for the child get subtracted from the twelfth of this yearly gross income for finding the net income.

After the net income of the obligor is calculated, a certain percentage of this income gets ordered as child support. However, this percentage can change depending on a few factors. First, the number of children involved in the child support case, and then the number of other children the obligor has to support outside of the case that is eligible for child support standards as well.

The number of children involved in child support cases in Texas

In the case of no other children to support, if the child support case is executed for only one child, the amount of support will be 20% of the calculated net income of the obligor. With more children included in the child support case, this percentage doesn’t get multiplied by the number of children. Instead the percentage increases by +5% with every child in the case up to 5 children. So, In the case of 5 children, this percentage becomes 40%. To put it more clearly;

  • 1 child = 20%
  • 2 children = 25%
  • 3 children = 30%
  • 4 children = 35%
  • 5 children = 40%
  • More than 5 children = Min. 40%

The number of children involved in child support cases in Texas

In some cases, the obligors might have other children from other families which they need to support as well. The effect of these other children on the case is a bit more complicated though. Every child the individual must support unrelated to the case decreases the percentage of child support payment from the income. But, the changes in the number of children are not as evenly distributed as the first factor.

For example, let’s say an individual is ordered to pay child support with 1 child in court, but they have also 2 other children from their other family too. So, the support payment for the child in the case will drop to 16% of the net income as opposed to 20%. The same percentage becomes 32% with 5 children in the case and 5 other children outside of the case. It is a bit confusing.

At this point, we should also point out that child support payments in Texas have an upper limit. As we explained above, the calculations for determining child support are based on the net income of the obligor. However, there is a cap on the amount of income that can be taken into the calculations. The amount that can be used in these calculations is set as $8,550 in monthly net income. When the net income is higher than this amount, only $8,550 of it will be used as the income in the calculation. What this means is that, a father with a $10,000 net income and a father with $35,000 pay the same child support for a child in Texas.

Let’s have some examples then:

Examples of Texas Child Support

Here you can find some examples where we calculated child support amounts;

In a Case of Texas Child Support, if one of the parents is the sole custody holder of a child, and if the other parent of the child is ordered to pay child support;

  • If they have a $2,400 net income in a month, and they do have not any other child;
    The child support that the custody holder parent will receive for a single child will be $480 per month (20% of net income).
  • If their net income is $5,000, and they have one other child;
    the custody holder parent will get $‭875‬ every month as child support for a single child in Texas (17.50% of net income).
  • If their net income is $3,100, and they have three other children;
    The monthly child support which they pay for two children becomes $‭‭589 (19% of net income).

More Info:

You can more information about Texas Child Support Laws and guidelines in the states on our website. If you think the information about any aspect of the topic on this page is not updated or accurate, you can check the link on the page and read about the most recent changes.

PREVIOUS: This post was written after our post about “Divorce Process“. The two previous articles give information about “Child Support Lawyer Documents” and “Child Support Lawyer“.

Texas Child Support Laws and Guidelines