How Much is Child Support in Texas?
Child support is a financial obligation imposed by the court on one or both parents to ensure that a child’s financial needs are met, especially after divorce or separation.
In Texas, like many states, the amount of child support is determined by a set of guidelines.
Understanding these guidelines is vital for both parents, whether you’re the one paying or receiving child support.
This blog will provide an in-depth look at the factors that influence child support amounts in Texas and how they’re calculated.
The Purpose of Child Support in Texas
Child support aims to ensure that a child’s financial needs continue to be met by both parents, even if they’re no longer together. This can include the child’s basic necessities like housing, food, healthcare, and education.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
Texas uses a percentage of income model to determine the amount of child support.
This means the noncustodial parent pays a percentage of their income, regardless of the child’s financial needs or the custodial parent’s income.
- One child – 20% of the noncustodial parent’s net resources
- Two children – 25% of net resources
- Three children – 30% of net resources
- Four children – 35% of net resources
- Five children – 40% of net resources
- Six or more children – Not less than 40% of net resources.
However, it’s important to understand that these percentages are guidelines.
Depending on the child’s needs and the circumstances of the parents, the court might order amounts higher or lower than these guidelines.
What Qualifies as “Net Resources”?
The term “net resources” refers to the total income of the noncustodial parent after deducting certain allowed expenses. The components include:
- All wage and salary income
- Commissions, overtime, and bonuses
- Self-employment income
- Rental income
- Interest, dividends, and royalty income
- Retirement benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- Disability and workers’ compensation benefits
From the total of these incomes, deductions are allowed for:
- Social Security taxes
- Federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one exemption
- State income tax (if applicable)
- Union dues
- Expenses for the noncustodial child’s health insurance and medical support
Caps on Child Support
In Texas, there’s a cap on the monthly net resources that can be considered when calculating child support.
In 2022, the cap was set at $9,200. If the noncustodial parent’s net resources exceed this amount, child support would only be calculated based on the capped amount.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the state regularly reviews and adjusts this cap, so always check the latest figures.
Modifying Child Support Amounts
Over time, circumstances can change. The noncustodial parent’s income might increase or decrease, or the child’s financial needs might evolve.
In Texas, either parent can request a review of the child support order every three years or whenever there’s a significant change in the circumstances of either parent or child.
Understanding how child support is calculated in Texas can be complex, but it’s essential for ensuring the financial well-being of the child.
If you’re navigating the child support landscape in Texas, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional or mediator who can guide you through the nuances and ensure that the best interests of the child remain at the forefront.
Remember, while child support may feel like a financial burden, it’s a responsibility that, when approached with understanding and compassion, can provide for the well-being and future of your child.