By: Marilyn Gale Vilyus
Child support is calculated on a percentage basis of the payor’s net income:
Number of Children Percentage
6 Over 40%
Net resources include salary, overtime, commissions, tips, bonuses, dividend income, self-employment income, net rental income, severance pay, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits, interest income, gifts, prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony.
The Court determines net resources by taking all of the money which is received from all sources. Then, deductions will be made for the following:
If the payor of child support has other children to support, this is taken into consideration and the payor is usually given a discount.
You should discuss with an attorney other factors which may be taken into consideration such as the expenses associated with long distance visitation.
Unlike some other states, in Texas, the income of the parent with whom the child lives is NOT a factor in the child support calculation.
The Court will insist that health insurance is provided for the child, and this cost is usually paid for by the person who pays child support. Sometimes the other parent carries the health insurance with the child support obligor reimbursing that parent on a monthly basis for the cost of insurance for the child alone.
The Court requires that child support payments be made through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit, usually by Wage Withholding Order. Even if the Wage Withholding Order does not go immediately into effect, one is prepared and kept in the Court's file. This process makes it easier for both parents to keep track of the payments that have been made.
After a child support order is in place, the amount can be modified. Either parent can file for this modification if there has been a substantial change in circumstances of the parties or in the needs of the child.
Child support can also be modified if three years have passed since the last child support order. (This order may have been contained in a divorce decree.) It is also required that the new child support amount as calculated under the formulas of the child support guidelines differ by either 20% or $100 from the amount of child support currently being paid.
Please call 281.550.6650 for an attorney consultation if you have any questions regarding either the calculation of child support or the modification process.