After a divorce where there are children under the age of 18 involved either one or both parents will be required to make child support payments. The court calculates how much child support a parent will have to pay based on several different factors. The Texas legislator has set forth the following guidelines that the court will consider when determining how much a parent needs to pay for child support. Contact an Arlington divorce lawyer to guide you through this process.

Section 154.061 of the Texas Code

This code sets the guideline for computing the net resources that are available for payment of child support as follows:

(1) 100 percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
(2) Interest, dividends, and royalty income;
(3) Self-employment income;
(4) Net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); and
(5) All other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits other than non-service-connected disability pension benefits

The court shall deduct the following items from resources to determine the net resources available for child support:

(1) Social security taxes;
(2) Federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;
(3) State income tax;
(4) Union dues;
(5) Expenses for the cost of health insurance or cash medical support for the obligor's child ordered by the court under Section 154.182; and
(6) If the obligor does not pay social security taxes, nondiscretionary retirement plan contributions.

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After the court has reached a determination as to how much a person’s gross income is they will then use a percentage system per child to create a child support order. Under the Texas Child Support guidelines a parent can expect to pay:

1 child 20% of Obligor's Net Resources
2 children 25% of Obligor's Net Resources
3 children 30% of Obligor's Net Resources
4 children 35% of Obligor's Net Resources
5 children 40% of Obligor's Net Resources
6+ children not less than the amount for 5 children order child support payments

Child Support Payment Judgments Are Evaluated By a Variety of Factors

However, again, this is not a uniform system because each child is unique. Therefore the court will take notice of the following, in reaching a child support payment judgment.

(1) The age and needs of the child;
(2) The ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child;
(3) Any financial resources available for the support of the child;
(4) The amount of time of possession of and access to a child;
(5) The amount of the obligee's net resources, including the earning potential of the obligee if the actual income of the obligee is significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or decrease in the income of the obligee or income that may be attributed to the property and assets of the obligee;
(6) Child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment;
(7) Whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child;
(8) The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and currently being paid or received by a party;
(9) The expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school;
(10) Whether the obligor or obligee has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity;
(11) The amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties;
(12) Provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses;
(13) Special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child;
(14) The cost of travel in order to exercise possession of and access to a child;
(15) Positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments;
(16) Debts or debt service assumed by either party; and
(17) Any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.

With all of these factors to consider it is evident that it is almost impossible to provide an accurate estimation for child support payments. However, there are services offered by the Texas Attorney General that can provide any parent who may be curious about an overall idea of how much they can expect to pay in child support payments.

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If You Want to know more about Child Support Payments, Contact a Houston Child Support Lawyer

To set up a free legal consultation about your family law matter, call the Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797. With more than 20 years of legal experience successfully representing clients throughout Texas, our Texas divorce attorneys are always eager to put our knowledge and skill to work for you.