The Texas Attorney General announced this Summer that the income cap guidelines
used to calculate Texas child support will be increasing on September
Currently, when calculating child support, Texas Courts use a maximum amount
of net resources of $7,500.00 per month. They then apply the percentages
for each child to this amount – 20% for one child, 25% for two children,
30% for three and so on. “Net resources” is the amount of
income the obligor parent – the one paying support – earns
after taxes, medicare and social security have been withheld.
For example, if the obligor earns $180,000.00 per year, and has one child,
then that parent’s gross resources are $15,000.00 per month (assuming
no other income). Remember, however, that child support is calculated
on net resources not gross resources. According to the tax tables provided
each year by the Texas Attorney General, the “net resources”
amount on $15,000.00/month gross income is $10,787.28. 20% of this amount
is $2,157.46. However,
child support is currently calculated on a maximum net resource of $7,500.00,
so this parent would pay $1,500.00 per month for one child (20% of $7,500.00).
Under the new guideline, which goes into effect on September 1st, the cap
for maximum net resources is changing to $8,550.00.
This means that the same parent discussed in the previous paragraph –
a parent who earns $8,550.00 in net resources each month – would
now pay $1,710.00 per month.
This $210.00/month is a significant increase and will likely be significant
enough that we will see a slew of Petitions to Modify Child Support in
the coming months.
The amount of gross resources which results in $7,500.00 net resources
is just over $10,300.00/month. If you are an obligor who earns more than
this amount, or an obligee – the person who receives child support
– and your paying parent earns more than this amount, this child
support cap increase will likely affect you. However, the change will
not be automatic. Someone, the obligor (not likely), obligee, or Texas
Attorney General, will have to formally petition the Court to increase
There are many factors that go into calculating child support. And, it
is sometimes possible to convince a Judge to disregard the cap and order
child support in excess of the guideline amount (above-guideline support).
It is also unclear whether this increase applies only to child support
modifications, divorces and suits affecting the parent-child relationship
filed after September 1st or whether it applies to cases pending, currently
on file, at that time.
If you have questions about our child support -whether from the viewpoint
of the paying or receiving party – you should visit with a good
family lawyer in your area to find out more.