Every parent wants what is best for his/her children. And that includes providing for them monetarily. But how does the court determine what you are required to pay in child support?
In Texas, child support is ordered in almost all cases that involve children and there is a guideline that the courts use when determining the amount of child support. Usually, this determination is made in a suit for divorce, but if the parents are not married, then child support can be ordered in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship.
The first factor in the formula is determining the gross monthly income of the parent who will be ordered to pay child support (called the ‘obligor’). Keep in mind the court will not allow a person to under-employ (work below their potential) or be unemployed in order to avoid paying support.
Once the gross monthly income is calculated, standard taxes are taken out of it, as are health and dental insurance cost for the children, to arrive at a net income. The court will then multiply the net income by a percentage. If the obligor only has one child, the net income will be multiplied by 20%. This percentage increased when there are additional children. If an obligor has one child in the case and another child with someone else, the percentage reduces to 17.5%. When the obligor is self-employed, it is sometimes difficult to arrive at an accurate figure, and you should contact a family law attorney to help guide you through that process.
There are caps on child support, but there are also exceptions to this cap. If you believe your child falls into an exception and additional support should be ordered, it is important to consult with a family law attorney to determine if your child qualifies.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce or in need of a child support order, call the law firm of Spurlock & Associates, P.C. Our Humble, TX, Child Support lawyers can discuss all aspects of your case, and help you resolve your child support case to your best advantage.