Understanding Texas Child Support
Child Support in Texas
Parents, in more ways than one, are the most important pillars during a child’s formative years. However, this can be quite challenging when the parents are divorced, legally separated, or unmarried. No matter what the situation may be, parents are still morally and legally obligated to offer various forms of support to their child in all aspects of growth and development.
Child support payment is a parental responsibility and does not only cover biological children but also adopted and foster children as well. For parents who never married, and acknowledged or confirmed paternity can be used as a basis for requiring child support. Emancipated children, however, are not entitled to any child support.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement of the federal government assures that support (both financial and medical) is available to children through locating parents, establishing paternity, identifying support obligations, and enforcing those obligations.
In Texas, state law prescribes child support computations and mandatories that should be provided by parents, especially separated ones. If you need guidance on child support laws, our Houston child support lawyers have the training and experience to assist you and ensure that your child’s best interests are considered to the full extent.
Wherever you are in the United States including Texas, child support should cover every child’s needs and is largely dependent on the parents’ income, capacity to pay, and the time they spend with their child.
The parent with who the child is living or the custodial parent usually pays less than the non-custodial parent who pays more.
Child support from both parents should cover the child’s basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and other needs should it be applicable to the child such as school or daycare costs, transportation and travel, medical expenses, and other activities that aid in the growth and development of the child.
How to Compute Texas Child Support
The United States Federal Law mandates all states to establish implementing guidelines on the computation of child support. These child support guidelines stipulate how much each parent must pay in order to support their child.
In calculating child support, various factors come into play. The Family Court evaluates such factors accordingly. These factors include:
- The child’s basic needs such as food, education, clothing, etc.
- How much the custodial parent earns and his/her needs
- How much the non-custodial earns and his/her capacity to give financial help
- The standard of living the child was used to prior to the parent’s separation or divorce
In order to determine how much each parent will be required to pay for child support, both parents must submit financial statements to declare their respective assets, liabilities, financial sources, and ability to pay. A parent’s monthly expenses are also considered in the computation of child support. These submissions will be evaluated and assessed by family courts in order for them to come up with a decision.
On top of these considerations, the family court also takes into account the standard of living the family was in and the child was used to. This way, the child would have the chance to adjust and adapt better to the parents’ separation or divorce. Realistically, however, this can be quite difficult and challenging for the parents to maintain. This is why family courts also incorporate practical and feasible arrangements in terms of child support.
Calculate Child Support in Texas
Texas Family Code Chapter 154 establishes, enforces, and discusses child support in detail. An online Texas child support calculator is available to check approximate amounts a parent needs to comply with. It is best to discuss this also with Houston child support lawyers in order to consider other factors in determining child support amounts. Make collecting child support easier with the help of attorneys. Demand retroactive child support or report delinquent child support from your co-parent with a child support attorney by your side.
As mentioned earlier, the parent with the physical custody of the child pays less than the other parent. With the use of Texas child support guidelines, the family court determines the amount of child support using the non-custodial parent’s salary and other sources of income and his/her reasonable expenses.
Of course, a parent will have the freedom to give more than what is required by law to his/her child but never less. Adjustments and review of court-mandated amounts may be conducted especially if there are significant changes on a parent’s capacity to pay such as increases in income or going into bankruptcy, etc.
Talk to a lawyer today If you are a noncustodial parent paying for child support and there are significant life changes that affect your capacity to provide child support, you may request for modification of child support.
In terms of custody, another factor that can significantly affect the division of child support is if and when parents have joint custody over their child and their respective parenting time.
Child Support Guidelines in Texas
A huge factor in determining child support is, of course, how much a parent earns or his/her gross income. For employed parents, this does not only involve business profits, salaries, or commissions but also bonuses, tips, overtime pay, and winnings. Even for those who are unemployed, the family courts take into account severance pays, retirement benefits, social security, and even the value of the property.
Reasonable and valid deductions are imposed on your gross income to determine a parent’s net income. These deductions include social security payments, taxes, health insurance payments, and other dues.
Determine your net income accurately with the help of reputable Houston attorneys practicing family law and child support.
Percentage of Monthly Net Income For Child Support
How much of your monthly net income goes to child support also depends on the number of children you are supporting. One child is entitled to at least 20% of your monthly net income, with a 5% increment per additional child.
A quick breakdown is as follows:
- 1 child = 20% of net income
- 2 children = 25% of net income
- 3 children = 30% of net income
- 4 children = 35% of net income
- 5 children = 40% of net income
- For 6 children or more = at least 40% of net income
Although the Texas Family Code is clear on the guidelines on how much child support is required, it can still be confusing for parents who are not well-versed in the law. A lot of factors can increase or decrease child support payments. Paying child support can be a breeze through hiring child support lawyers so that we can be made aware of such factors.
At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law, our Houston child support lawyers can evaluate child support cases depending on unique circumstances.
Especially when you are in an ongoing divorce or if you are a single parent, thinking about child support can be tough. Schedule a consultation with us so we can help you come up with recommendations on moving forward. You can contact us by calling 832-479-4499 today.
You can count on us to protect your interests and resolve your legal concerns in Texas & Illinois.
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