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Deciding Child Support in the Greater Houston, Texas, Area

Find the Right Support

How much will the child support be?

womand and children

The Texas Family Code has guideline percentages (based on the number of children) which apply to the first $8,550.00 of the non-custodial parent’s net income. If the child has proven special needs, then additional support may be warranted. Unlike some other states, Texas does NOT consider the income, if there is any, of the parent with whom the child lives as a part of the child support calculation. However, a “payor” may get a discount if he or she has to pay support for other children not of this marriage or relationship.

What are the percentages?

The following percentages are presumed to be appropriate:

Number of Children and % of Net Resources

  • 1 child      20%
  • 2 children 25%
  • 3 children 30%
  • 4 children 35%
  • 5 children 40%
  • 6 or more children not less than 40%

If child support is based on “net income,” why does my attorney want to know what my “gross monthly income” is?

Attorneys either use a chart provided by the Texas State Attorney General’s Office,  or they may have special legal software to assist them in determining what the “net monthly income” is for the purposes of child support.  This procedure requires that the obligor’s “net gross monthly income” be entered, along with other information.

  • Salary
  • Severance Pay
  • Commissions
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Overtime
  • Pensions
  • Tips
  • Trust Income
  • Bonuses
  • Annuities
  • Dividends
  • Capital Gains
  • Self-Employment Income
  • Social Security
  • Net Rental Income
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Interest Income
  • Gifts or Prizes
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Alimony

What goes into the calculation (Chld Support Calculator) of net resources?

The Texas Court uses the total amount of money received by the person obligated to pay child support from all of the sources listed above and then subtracts social security taxes and federal taxes (using one deduction), state income tax (if any), union dues and the cost of the health insurance for the child alone.

What If the obligor has other children to support, other than the children of the marriage?

Instead of using the regular percentages, the Texas Court may reduce the amount of child support by giving consideration to the number of children before the Court and the number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support.

What If the person who should pay child support is not working?

The Texas Court will still order that a minimum amount of child support be paid each month.

Will the court waive the child support requirement if my spouse agrees to it?

There would need to be a very serious reason for the Texas Court to allow waiving child support.  Generally, the right to “waive” the support is construed to belong to the child and not to the parent with whom the child lives.  Since the child, obviously, is not competent to make this kind of decision, the Court is very reluctant to allow child support to be waived.

The Texas Court always considers the “best interest of the child” standard”, and is very serious about the obligation of a parent to support his or her child.  The Court is also very “skeptical” that this issue may have been used as “leverage” by one of the parties as a part of the “settlement agreement.”  Such a circumstance would not be in the best interest of the child.  Opinions on this issue have varied overt time and today, still vary both by county and by particular judges.

What is a “Wage Withholding Order?

This is a court order separate from the divorce decree which is provided to an employer which results in an amount of child support being deducted from the employee’s salary every time he or she receives a paycheck.

The money is forwarded to the Texas State Disbursement Unit in San Antonio, which, in turn, sends the payments out to the party who receives the support.  Most Courts demand that a Wage Withholding Order be prepared and filed with the Court, even in those instances in which the Order is not being currently executed.  If there is no Wage Withholding Order currently in effect, the payor is still required to make his or her payment directly to the Child Support Disbursement Unit.  The Court will NOT approve payments to be made directly to the payee.

Is child support taxable income?

No, it is not considered “income” to the recipient,  and it is not deductible by the person paying it.

What if my employer only has one cost for health insurance for the employee and one cost for the employee and his or her family?

Even though your health plan may be set up in this manner, your Human Resources contact person will be able to tell you the exact cost of medical insurance for the child alone.

One quick telephone call to your employer will get you this extremely important piece of information.

What if the children do not have any health insurance?

The Texas Court is very concerned about the ability of children to have access to adequate medical care, and the Court will order that medical insurance is obtained and paid for by one of the parties, normally the same party who pays child support.  It would be a good idea to start to investigate the best options available so that insurance will be in effect for the kids before the parties have to attend a hearing before the Court.

Texas Divorce – Temporary Orders

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