Texas Child Support
By Earl N Jackson
Child Support is about sharing the costs of raising a child. Texas has promulgated Section 154.125 of the Texas Family Code to set forth guidelines of varying percentages of net resources to be paid as child support depending upon the number of children. It is a rebuttable presumption that child support based upon the guidelines is in the child's best interest.
Somebody is going to pay child support. There is really no way of getting out of it. If you are the "nonprimary" then you will financially support your child and provide health insurance in almost all cases. Yes, this includes those circumstances where the child was produced as a result of a "one night stand." Doesn't matter how long the relationship was or the commitment of that relationship, a child was produced and support will be paid. Daddy met Momma at the pub, a child was produced then someone will pay. Note, The father has the right to request a DNA test to make sure that it is his child prior to being ordered to pay child support.
Lifestyle has nothing to do with child support. The child may be involved in horseback riding, tennis, golf tour, etc., but that doesn't have anything to do with the calculation.
If you are under a duty to support a child not of the relationship which is at issue before the court (a child not before the court), then the obligor is entitled to a credit. If both parents are the primary for siblings (that is one parent may have one child and the other parent may have that child's brother or sister), the calculation for child support is outside of the discussion below.
The "Obligor" is the person paying child support, the "Obligee" is the person receiving child support.
Guidelines apply when the obligor's (the person paying child support) net resources are $7,500.00 per month or less. If net resources are greater than $7,500.00 per month, the court will presumptively apply the percentage guidelines to the first $7,500 of net resources without any deductions. For example, single child child support is $1,500.00 (.20 x $$7,500.00 = $1,500.00), for two children - $1,875.00 (.25 x $7,500.00 = $1,875.00), for three children $2,250.00, etc.
Number of Children Before the Court.
Children of the Marriage.
| Number of
The top row across represents the number of children which are before the Court. The left-most row addresses children who are not before the Court but are a child(ren) of a previous relationship that the obligor has a duty to support. In order to use the table effectively, assume one child of the marriage and no children from a previous relationship as to either party. In this example, guideline support is 20% of net resources as to the obligor (person paying support). Another example, assume two children from a previous relationship and two children from the current marriage. Guidelines indicate that the obligor should pay 20.63 of net resources for child support. The reduction is in place because the obligor has a duty to support children from each relationship.
Although the Texas Family Code provides guidelines that are presumed to be in the child's best interest, it is possible to rebut the presumption. Several factors that the courts may consider in deciding to vary from the guidelines include, the needs of the children, the ability of the party to pay child support, and the debts the paying parent is assuming. Further, if a parent is having to travel long distances in order to exercise visitation, the cost of travel (gasoline, airfare, hotel expense) are factors that may support a variance from the child support guidelines. In addition, if a paying parent is supporting a child through college, this factor may also call for a reduction in child support.