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Texas Child Support Guideline Increase: Coming Soon to a Court Near You!


Child Support

The Texas Attorney General announced this Summer that the income cap guidelines used to calculate Texas child support will be increasing on September 1st, 2013.

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 child support.

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.

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