How Much Child Support Do I Have to Pay in Texas?
Dec. 29, 2021
In the State of Texas, both parents of a minor child are expected to contribute to the financial support of the child until the child reaches the age of majority. If the parents are married, or otherwise living together, there is generally no reason for the state to interfere in how the parents work out the child’s support; however, in the case of divorced parents, or parents who were never married and now live apart, once parent will typically be ordered by a court to pay child support to the other parent. If you envision being the subject of a child support order in the near future you are likely wondering “How much child support do I have to pay in Texas?”
Child support for a minor child is typically ordered pursuant to a divorce or paternity action. When calculating how much support a parent is required to pay the Texas Child Support Guidelines (“Guidelines”) are used. The amount established using the Guidelines is “presumed to be reasonable and an order of support conforming to the guidelines is presumed to be in the best interest of the child.”
The court will first look to your net monthly income. If your income is less than $7,500 (a figure that can change so always check with an experienced Texas family law attorney) the number of children in the household is then taken into consideration. The percentage of your net monthly income that you will be ordered to pay in child support will depend on how many children are in the household. For one child, for example, you will pay 20 percent of your net monthly income in child support. For two children, 25 percent; three children, 30 percent; four children, 35 percent, five children, 40 percent; and six or more children is no less than 40 percent. By way of illustration, if your monthly net income is $5,000 and you have three children you would be ordered to pay $1,500 per month in child support ($5,000 x 0.30).
In the event that your monthly net income exceeds $7,500 (or the current high income standard amount) you will be ordered to pay according to the above guidelines with regard to the first $7,500 of your monthly net income. If, however, the other parent is able to prove that your child(ren) have additional needs and expenses you could be ordered to pay an additional amount above and beyond the percentage you are ordered to pay on the first $7,500 of income. For example, if you have only one child and your net monthly income is $10,000 you would be ordered to pay $1,500 plus an additional amount if your child’s other parent can show that your child has needs that warrant the additional funds. Examples of reasons for additional child support might include, but are not limited to, things such as tuition, extra-curricular activities, or medical expenses.
It is possible to deviate from the Guidelines if doing so is in the “best interests of the child.”
Because there are so many factors that can impact the amount of child support you are ultimately ordered to pay, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Texas family law attorney about your specific situation. Contact the Fort Worth, Texas Law Office of Jon R. Boyd by calling 817-338-4500 to schedule your appointment today.