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The child support payment formula in Texas

San Antonio parents who choose to divorce almost inevitably have questions when it comes to determining child support payments. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over $37 billion in such payments was due in 2011. Given the amount of money involved, the responsibility to ensure that child support is determined equitably is left to state family courts.

The Texas Family Code provides a basis upon which child support payment calculations are made in the state. They begin by stating that for couples with only one child, 20 percent of the net resources of the obliged parent is due as child support. That figure increases in increments of 5 percent for each additional child, up to 40 percent for five children. These guidelines directly apply if the monthly net resources of the obliged parent do not exceed $7,500. According to the Child Support Calculator on the website for the Texas Attorney General, net resources are determined to be one’s gross income, less Social Security and income taxes, as well as the cost of health insurance.

If the monthly net resources of the parent required to pay child support exceeds $7,500, the court will apply the aforementioned guidelines and then may also choose to require an additional amount based off of the following factors:

  • The incomes of both parents.
  • Their custody agreement.
  • The unique and proven needs of the children.

The court leaves it to the parents to determine what those needs may be.

Tools such as the Child Support Calculator on the Attorney General’s website may give a good indication of what one can expect to pay. If the output given there is vastly different than one’s current child support agreement, he or she may choose to request a modification.

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