How much is child support in Texas?
Calculating Child Support in the Lonestar State
Texas courts use uniform, state-wide guidelines to calculate child support payments. Generally speaking, the non-custodial parent must pay a monthly child support amount that’s based on the Texas Child Support Guideline Formula, which takes into account both parents’ income(s) and the number of children that need support.
For child support purposes, the definition of “income” is quite expansive – it includes wages, salary, commissions, tips, overtime, and bonuses. It can also include severance, retirement or unemployment benefits, social security or workers’ compensation awards, gifts, prizes, alimony, and net rental income among other things. Add all of these up to determine gross income.
Net income is then calculated by subtracting certain items from the parent’s gross income, including social security taxes, state and federal income tax, union dues and health insurance premiums for the children.
Once you have the net income, apply it to the guidelines based on the number of children that need support, as follows:
1 child = 20% of Obligor's Net Resources
2 children = 25% of Obligor's Net Resources
3 children = 30% of Obligor's Net Resources
4 children = 35% of Obligor's Net Resources
5 children = 40% of Obligor's Net Resources
6+ children = not less than the amount for 5 children
For more detailed information on how to calculate child support in Texas, see Understanding Child Support in Texas.
Typically, child support payments will continue until the child turns 18 or has graduated from high school, whichever happens later.
When to Hire an Attorney
The Texas child support laws are fairly complex, and both parents in a child support case are legally required to disclose all of their sources of income. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of forms and disclosures you need to complete. If you are on either side of a child support request, you may want to contact a Texas family law attorney who can explain how the child support guidelines work.