Child Support

Significant Change in Calculating Child Support Became Effective

September 1, 2013

There is a significant change regarding child support that became effective September 1, 2013. The Texas legislature amended the Texas Family Code to increase the monthly “cap” on net income used to calculate child support. This will affect higher wage earners and the amount of child support they might have to pay. The “cap” was raised from $7,500/month to $8,550/ month. This change can result in an increase in the amount of child support for one child to $210, for two children to $262.50 and for three children to $315/month.

“Net” resources is determined by taking a parent’s gross income and deducting federal taxes, social security, Medicare, health insurance costs for the child(ren) and union dues. Withholding for retirement, savings plans and many other voluntary payments that one might make are not deducted for purposes of calculating child support. Thereafter, a percentage is applied to the net resources, which is 20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, 35% for four children and 40% for five children. The percentage is adjusted if the conservator paying child support has other children to support in which case the percentages are adjusted slightly downward.

If you are either receiving or paying the maximum child support presuming the “cap” of $7,500, you might be eligible to file a modification for child support. Grounds for modification for child support exist when the new amount of child support would differ by 20% or $100 of the previous amount of child support ordered.

The court may order periodic child support payments in an amount other than is established by the guidelines in certain circumstances. The court can consider factors, including but not limited to, the age and needs of the child, the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child, any financial resources available for the support of the child, the amount of net resources of the parent who has primary care of the child, to name a few.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein