Child Support – Understanding the Obligation
Child support in Texas has been well thought out over the years by Focus Groups of Fathers, Mothers, and Legislators. The system, while not perfect, is relatively consistent.
An Obligor’s (or Paying Parent’s) obligation is to pay certain amounts of support for their child(ren) as follows:
i. 1 child – 20%
ii. 2 children – 25%
iii. 3 children – 30%
iv. 4 children – 35%
v. 5 or more children – 40% +
a. Set based upon a percentage of the Obligor’s “net” earnings.
b. “Net” earnings are generally defined as “Gross” earnings less taxes and social security payments.
c. An Obligor will generally be ordered to pay based upon the number of children that he/she has with the receiving Parent, a percentage of the 1st $6000 net earnings as follows:
Note: ALWAYS TALK TO AN ATTORNEY BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO CALCULATE YOUR CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION!
A Parent who has children with different partners will have his/her child support reduced to different levels of support
a. An Obligor is generally required to maintain health insurance for his/her child(ren)
b. Both Parents will generally be required to pay ½ of any expenses NOT covered by health insurance (deductibles, etc)
Education and other expenses
a. An Obligor is not required to pay education and other expenses (unless ordered by the Court). These expenses are borne by the
Parent with primary possession of the child.
Above Guideline support
a. If a child has special physical or mental needs, the court can order a Parent to pay above guideline child support.
Remember – These are general guidelines. Talk with your attorney about the specifics of your case before taking action!