Basic Texas Child Support Calculations

Video Highlights

  • The state legislature has decreed what's called “guideline” child support. They've provided a chart that says what portion of a non-custodial parent’s income should be paid to the custodial parent.
  • The chart is available in chapter 154 of the Texas Family code and listed below on The chart shows that the non-custodial parent is to pay 20% of his adjusted next income to the custodial parent for 1 child, 25% of his net for 2 kids, 30% for 3, 35% for 4, and 40 % for 5 or more kids. If the non-custodial parent has other children that he is either paying support for through a court order or has other kids who live with him, the non-custodial parent gets a discount on the percentage. So, for example if an obligor is to pay 20% of his net for 1 child but has another child living at home with him, then he’ll only pay 17.5% instead of 20. Keep in mind, to qualify for the credit the kids living with the obligor or whom he is supporting by a court order, must actually be his biological or adopted children.
  • 4 steps in calculating support:
    • First you start off with the obligor’s monthly average gross income.
    • Second take out the taxes to get his monthly net income.
    • Third give him his credits to get his adjusted net income, and
    • Finally multiply his adjusted net income by his percentage, whatever that might be depending on the number of kids he has.
  • So let's say we have a non-custodial parent with one child, that’s 20%, and he makes an average monthly gross income of $4,000.
    • We’ll take his $4,000 gross amount and deduct his taxes, which for tax year 2017 is $737.16 each month, this leaves him with a monthly net income of $3,262.84.
    • Then next, give him his credit for things like the medical insurance he might be providing in order to get his adjusted net income.
    • Finally you apply his percentage on the chart to his adjusted net. If in our scenario he’s not entitled to any credits, then we simply take 20% of his $3262.84 net for our one child and the amount of monthly child support becomes $652.57.
  • I know the most complicated part of that calculation process is knowing how much taxes to take out to get the net. Thankfully, the TX Attorney General 2017 tax charts help a lot with that.  

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