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What are the guidelines for child support calculations?

When you have been identified as an obligor following a divorce, the amount of child support you must provide depends upon a number of factors, including what the child needs and the status of your own finances. Below are a few of the guidelines used by Texas courts to determine how much child support is equitable.

Under the Texas Family Code, the primary concerns in calculating child support owed by the obligor (that is, a noncustodial parent or other person legally recognized as responsible to provide support for the child in question) are the needs of the child and his or her age. Other important factors include:

  • Income, assets, property and debts of both the obligor and the person owed support (otherwise known as the obligee), as well as your respective capabilities to contribute to child support
  • Existing forms of support, such as alimony, received by or paid to either party
  • Whether you or your former spouse have guardianship or custody of another child
  • How much access you each have to the child in question
  • Provisions for current or future expenses, such as health insurance and post-secondary education, for the child

If your monthly net resources as the obligor are determined to be less than $7,500 (or an adjustment thereof to account for inflation), the court may apply a payment plan based on a sliding scale. On this schedule, you may be expected to provide 20 percent of your net resources to support one child. This percentage increases with the number of supported children.

You are generally expected to continue paying support until your child turns 18 or is emancipated, although this may vary in some circumstances, such as the mental or physical disability of the child. Payments may be made in a lump sum, periodically, through the purchase of annuity or via other methods deemed appropriate by the court.

This information is provided for educational purposes and does not consitute legal advice.

 

 

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