How Is Child Support Calculated in the State of Texas?

By Martha Akers

Typically, the amount of child support is determined by applying guidelines contained in the Texas Family Code. Although both those who pay child support (obligors) and those who receive child support (obligees) often express dissatisfaction with the amount of child support, the amount of child support established by the child support guidelines is presumed to be reasonable and in the best interests of the child.

In Texas child support is based upon the obligor’s net monthly resources. Resources include 1) 100 percent of all wages and salary, income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips and bonuses); 2) interest, dividends and royalty income; 3) self-employment income; 4) net rental income; and 5) all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, Social Security benefits other than supplemental security income, unemployment benefits, disability and workers compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance and alimony.

To determine net monthly resources, the following are deducted from the monthly resources: 1) Social Security taxes; 2) federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction; 3) state income tax; 4) union dues; and 5) expenses for the cost of health insurance or cash medical support for the obligor’s child ordered paid by the court.

The net monthly resource is multiplied by a percentage to determine the amount of child support. The percentage is based upon the number of children involved in the suit; however, credit is given if the obligor has other children and is actually supporting those children.

Fair or unfair, the above is how child support is calculated in the state of Texas.

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