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HOW CHILD SUPPORT IS CALCULATED

Child support in Texas is determined using specific guidelines outlined in the Texas Family Code. These guidelines take into account various factors to calculate the amount of child support that one parent must pay to the other. Here's an overview of how child support is determined in Texas:

It's important to note that child support in Texas is typically paid until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, there may be exceptions, such as if the child has special needs.
Parents involved in child support cases are encouraged to work with a family law attorney who can help ensure that child support is calculated accurately and in compliance with Texas law.

  1. Net Monthly Income: The first step is to determine each parent's net monthly income. This includes wages, salary, bonuses, and other sources of income, after deducting taxes, Social Security, and Medicare. The net income is used as the starting point for calculating child support.
  2. Percentage of Income: Texas child support guidelines use a percentage of the paying parent's net income to calculate child support. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the guidelines are as follows:
    • 20% of the non-custodial parent's net income for one child
    • 25% for two children
    • 30% for three children
    • 35% for four children
    • 40% for five children
    • The percentage increases by 5% for each additional child.
  3. Adjustments: The court may consider adjustments to the child support amount based on certain factors, such as:
    • Health insurance costs: The paying parent may be ordered to provide health insurance for the child, and this can affect the child support calculation.
    • Childcare costs: If the custodial parent incurs childcare expenses to enable them to work or attend school, these costs may be considered in the calculation.
    • Extraordinary expenses: If the child has extraordinary medical or educational expenses, the court may adjust the child support amount accordingly.
    • Possession and access schedule: The number of overnight visits the non-custodial parent has with the child can also affect the child support calculation.
  4. Shared or Split Custody: In cases where the child spends a significant amount of time with both parents (shared or split custody), child support may be calculated differently. The court will adjust the child support amount based on the number of overnights each parent has with the child.
If you have questions, we have answers.

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