All About Texas Child Support

Child support is perhaps the most common issue in Texas Family Law cases involving children. Our office (Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers) helps clients establish, modify and enforce child support in divorce and other child-related cases.

In Part 1 of my four- part post, I will discuss how child support is calculated in Texas. In Part 2, how child support can be paid and when the obligation to pay child support ends. Part 3 of my post will discuss modifying child support and Part 4 will discuss how to enforce Texas child support.

  • Calculating Child Support

In Texas, child support is calculated based on a percentage of the Obligor's (the party paying child support) net monthly resources (income). Texas does not take into consideration the Obligee's (the party receiving child support) income. The income of the Obligor's spouse is also not considered in determining the amount of child support.

Net resources include, but are not limited to, 100% of all wage and salary income (this includes tips and overtime), self-employment income, social security or disability benefits, worker's compensation, retirement benefits, and spousal maintenance. Social security taxes, federal income taxes, state income taxes, union dues, and the cost of health insurance or cash medical support are deducted from the Obligor's resources to determine the Obligor's net resources. These deductions are calculated using the Texas Attorney General’s Tax Charts.

The percentage applied to the Obligor's net monthly income is based on how many children the Obligor has with the Obligee and how many other minor or disabled children the Obligor has with someone else that he or she has a legal duty to support. For example, if the Obligor and Obligee have one child together and the Obligor has one minor or disabled child from a previous relationship and the Obligor is paying child support for that child, the percentage applied to the Obligor's net monthly income is 17.50%.

It is a common misconception that if the Obligor does not have a job then they cannot be ordered to pay child support. If the Obligor is unemployed, the court can order child support based on minimum wage. The amount will be calculated the same way as if the Obligor was employed.

A good Texas family lawyer can help you figure out how much child support you should pay or receive based on your specific circumstances.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post, which will discuss how Texas child support can be paid and when the obligation to pay support ends. If you have further questions regarding child support in your Texas Family Law case, feel free to contact me, or one of the other attorneys at our office, on-line at Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers