Guideline Child Support in Texas
You may wonder which situations call for modifications of the court of the child support amount. We will discuss it further in this article.
Calculating the Amount You Need to Pay Based on the Texas Child Support Guideline
Based on the Texas Family Code, you can find the right percentage to multiply to your monthly income in order to find the amount that should be your set monthly child support payment.
When You Have Other Children
All your children that you have the duty to support are relevant in the calculation, so don’t focus only on the children involved in the current divorce case. You will get an offset with regards to the number of other children you have outside of the current child custody or divorce case. The offset can range from 20% to 40% depending on the number of children you are supporting.
When the Court Orders a Higher Amount than the Standard Child Support Guideline
You might wonder what situation calls for a higher amount than the standard child support guideline set by the State of Texas and the Texas Family Code. The most common case where the judge orders an amount higher than the child support guideline is when the parent who needs to pay child support has a significantly higher income than the parent who is supposed to receive child support. Another common case is when the child has special needs such as expensive medical treatment.
The court originally does not automatically makes adjustments to the child support guideline. Therefore, you will have to show evidence that the amount stated in the guideline is inappropriate. You will also need to show the court the amount that is more reasonable.
Factors that the Court Considers
There are also certain factors that the court needs to consider when you make a request for an amount higher than the child support guideline. These factors include individual needs of each child, special needs, financial status of each parent, educational expenses, and the time each parent spends with each child. For example, if you are already paying for private school fees, private tutors, and other educational expenses (see Things to Think About Before Changing Schools After the Divorce
), the judge is likely not going to increase the amount more than the child support guideline.
There are also practical factors that affect the judge’s decision. These real-world factors include health insurance, travel costs and the division of common property. If the marital estate was divided in a disproportionate manner, and you were the recipient of the smaller share, the court is less likely to order an amount that is higher than the child support guideline. If you are the parent who got the most of the debts from the marriage and you are also the one expected to pay child support, it is also less likely that the judge will order you to pay child support that is higher than the guidelines.