Calculating Child Support in Texas

Determining child support amounts in Texas is essentially a mathematical process. State law provides charts and formulas that explain how much child support the custodial parent is entitled to receive for the benefit of the child or the amount of child support a parent is obligated to pay.

I am Leonard M. Roth, a Houston lawyer with more than four decades of experience. If you have questions concerning child support, please call my office at 713-965-7608 today to schedule an appointment.

Understanding The Child Support Guidelines Approach

Child support is based on your gross income from all sources. Once you have calculated your gross income, you can deduct only three things:

  • 100 percent of your Social Security withholding
  • 100 percent of your federal income tax withholding as if you were a single person claiming one exemption and the standard deduction
  • The medical insurance premium cost for your child or children only (not your spouse or yourself)

Once you do those subtractions from gross income from all sources, you are left with a dollar amount that is known as your "net resource." You then multiply the net resource by a percent based on the number of children you have:

  • One child: 20 percent
  • Two children: 25 percent
  • Three children: 30 percent
  • Four children or more: 35 percent

Under Texas law, the monthly child support net resource figure that is used to determine child support is capped. The net resource cap is $7,500 a month, which means that the maximum child support for two children is $1,875 per month (25 percent of $7,500). The payer of child support is also required to pay for the child's health insurance premium, because the payer is allowed to deduct that cost from gross income from all sources in determining net resource.

Considering The Needs Of The Child

Child support in Texas typically doesn't even pay for half of a child's or children's needs. Courts can increase the amount of child support if the primary joint managing conservator can prove by competent evidence that there is a need for additional child support above the cap. There are factors that the court can use to adjust the child support.

Child Support Modifications

Child support can be modified after divorce if the financial circumstances of the paying party, the receiving party or the child or children have substantially changed.

If illness or job loss has affected your ability to pay child support (or created a need for more if you are the custodial parent), I can prepare and file a request for a modification to your child support agreement or order.

To schedule a consultation with a family law specialist as certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, please contact me online today. I serve clients in Houston, Texas, and all surrounding communities.