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Texas Guidelines for Calculating Support Payments

Child support payments are not determined by individuals in a divorce settlement. Instead, they are based upon a predetermined formula. These guidelines have been designed specifically to apply to different situations based on what the non-custodial parent’s resources are on a monthly net basis. For the following guidelines, it is assumed that the monthly net resources for the supporting parent are $7,500 or less. In these cases, the presumptive schedule of payments set by the court is as follows.

  • When there is one child in the family, the child support payments will make up 20% of the supporting parent’s net income.
  • When there are two children in the family, the child support payments will make up 25% of the supporting parent’s net income.
  • When there are three children in the family, the child support payments will make up 30% of the supporting parent’s net income.
  • When there are four children in the family, the child support payments will make up 35% of the supporting parent’s net income.
  • When there are five children in the family, the child support payments will make up 40% of the supporting parent’s net income.
  • When there are six or more children in the family, then the child support payments will make up 40% or more of the supporting parent’s net income.

If the supporting parent also has children from an additional relationship, then these percentages may be reduced to accommodate children from both relationships. Additionally, if the net resources for the paying parent exceed the assumed $7,500, then the court will more than likely apply the percentages mentioned above to the initial amount, but then the court may also request that additional amounts of child support be paid depending on how much more the supporting parent earns in a given month. The court is not legally allowed to demand that the supporting parent pay more than an amount that is equal to 100% of the child’s proven needs or the presumptive amount, which is calculated based on multiplying the applicable percentage by $7,500, depending on which figure is the greater figure.

The net resources term is one that is defined quite broadly, and can be treated subjectively depending on the court. In addition to the monthly support payments, the paying parent will be required to maintain the needs of the children on his or her employer’s health insurance policy. If there is no health insurance available through the employment of the paying parent, but it is available by way of the payee’s employer, then the paying parent will be ordered to pay the costs of the premium. If insurance is not made available through either employers, then the paying parent will have to provide individual insurance coverage to whatever extent is affordable and available. The court will also typically make an order regarding paying deductibles and other expenses regarding insurance.

Child support law also often requires that the paying parent obtain life insurance covering the amount of the child support that would be paid until the point where the child support obligation terminates, so that child support payments can be made even if the non-custodial parent is no longer alive.

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