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How Is Child Support Calculated?

When parents separate, a Court has authority to order the payment of child support for the benefit of the children.  Both parents of a child have a moral and legal obligation to provide financial support for the child.  The "non-custodial" parent (known in Texas as the non-primary managing conservator) is typically ordered to make monthly payments to the primary managing conservator.  Today's blog post will answer some of the more common questions surrounding the calculation of child support.

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF MY INCOME SHOULD BE PAID?

The percentage of income depends on the number of children before the Court.  For example, if there is one child before the Court and no other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support, 20 percent of net resources is typically ordered.  For two children, the proper percentage is 25 percent.  If there are other children not before the Court, the percentages are adjusted.  

WHAT CONSTITUTES "INCOME"?

The percentages referenced above are a percentage of "net resources".  Net resources include all income actually being received, overtime pay, bonuses, interest, dividends and royalty income, returement benefits and social security income (not including SSI), minus the proper amount of federal income tax, union dues and cost of health insurance for the children.  

WHAT IF THE OBLIGOR IS INTENTIONALLY UNEMPLOYED?

If a child support obligor is intentionally unemployed or underemployed, the Court may base the child support on the amount the obligor could be earning.

DOES THE COURT CONSIDER MY CURRENT SPOUSE'S INCOME?

The Court cannot consider the income of the obligor's current spouse for purposes of calculating child support.

CAN THE COURT CONSIDER OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES?

Yes, the Court can consider all relevant factors in deciding how much child support to order. However, Texas judges rarely vary from the percentage guidelines noted above.

Whether you anticipate receiving or paying child support, you don't have to go through the process alone.  Individuals need qualified, competent legal advice to assist in the negotiation of child support.  Christiansen Law Firm assists clients with child support matters in Texas courts.  The family law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have significant experience negotiating and litigating child support and can ensure that your rights are protected.  Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to schedule a free evaluation.

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