Simply put, your children have financial needs that must be met. Not all parents have the same income-earning ability, and no parent should bear the financial responsibility of raising a child alone.
Under Texas law, it is customary for one parent to pay a designated sum of money each month to the other as child support. The Texas Family Code has a formula to calculate child support based on the income of the paying parent with the amount capped at a certain income level.
Some parents, though, have determined that traditionally calculated guidelines for child support do not meet their children’s financial needs—especially if the children are involved in intensive extracurricular activities, or if the nonpaying parent cannot earn sufficient funds to meet those needs. In these instances, some parents agree to alternative child support arrangements. Contact us to discuss the options available to you and your family.
How is child support calculated?
Interestingly, there is not one mathematical formula used across the country to calculate child support. Different states use different equations. In Texas, the formula used is commonly referred to as “guideline” child support. First, the net income of the paying parent is determined, based on salary and other income-generating sources minus certain statutory deductions. Once net income is determined and after considering the statutory cap, if applicable, child support is calculated as a percentage of that net income, based on the number of children: 20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, 35% for four children, and 40% for five children. Additional considerations are also made for health insurance premiums paid, whether the paying parent has children in more than one household, and whether the child has special needs.
Can child support payments be made directly between parents or do they have to be paid through the state?
Texas law requires that child support be paid through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit (TCSDU), a unit of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). Once the courts enter an order for child support, the OAG is notified and establishes a child support payment account with the TCSDU. The TCSDU accepts multiple forms of payment, and also provides different disbursement options for the parent receiving the child support. You can find detailed information on the payment and disbursement process at www.info.txcsdu.com and www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/index.shtml.