Category: Child Support

texas child support law

Texas Child Support – Overtime Pay and Unemployment

Texas Child Support LawOvertime, Unemployment and Underemployment:  TEXAS CHILD SUPPORT LAW

I am often asked the following questions regarding child support:

  1. “Does overtime count when calculating my child support”?
  2. “What if I’m unemployed?
  3. “Can I quit my job or reduce my income to avoid paying higher support”?

Does Overtime Count?

The answer is simple, YES.  Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code specifically states “overtime pay” is to be included in a person’s net income. In fact, everything is considered income for purposes of child support except the following:

(1) Return of principal or capital;

(2)  Accounts receivable;

(3)  Benefits paid in accordance with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or another federal public assistance program; or

(4)  Payments for foster care of a child.  (Tex. Fam. Code 154.062)

Texas Child Support law also allows for the following deductions from income prior to calculating child support:

(1)  Social security taxes;

(2)  Federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;

(3)  State income tax;

(4)  Union dues;

(5)  Expenses for the cost of health insurance (dental insurance as of Sept. 1, 2018) or cash medical support for the obligor’s child ordered by the court under Section 154.182; and

(6)  If the obligor does not pay social security taxes, non-discretionary retirement plan contributions.

Once the net income is calculated, the appropriate percentage is applied, depending on the number of children, which will give you the monthly amount of support to be paid.

What happens if you are Unemployed?

Texas law presumes people are at least working 40 hours per week at Federal Minimum Wage.  Evidence of actual income must be presented to the court in order to rebut this presumption.  The presumption does not apply if a party is in jail for more than 90 days.

Can I quit my Job or reduce my Income?

You can always quit your job but it likely will not help you with reducing your monthly child support amount.  Texas law specifically authorizes the court to apply potential income to your monthly child support calculation if it finds a person voluntarily quit their employment or is purposefully making less money than they are able to.  Mathematically it does not make sense to reduce your income to avoid support.  If your child support is 20 percent of your net monthly income, are you willing to sacrifice the other 80 percent to pay less support?  It doesn’t make sense.

The above is a brief overview of Texas child support law regarding child support and income.  Contact your Houston Child Support Lawyer at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for a complimentary consultation.

Connect with Shawn M. Rudisel, on Google+ at +Shawn Rudisel

Child Support, Medical Support and now Dental Support in 2018

Under current Texas law, the Family Code requires that the non-custodial parent pay child support to the custodial parent.   It is presumed to be in the best interest of the child that the obligor (parent responsible for paying support) pay child support in an amount determined by the guidelines set under Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code.  Click here for more information about the child support guidelines.

Medical Support

The Code also requires that the court order a parent to provide medical coverage at a reasonable cost for the child (Tex. Fam. Code 154.181).  The cost of the medical insurance premium for the child, among other things, are deducted from the obligor’s gross monthly to compute a net monthly income of which the guidelines are applied.  The Code defines “reasonable cost” as no more than nine percent of the obligor’s annual income.

Dental Support

Effective September 1, 2018, courts will begin ordering the obligor to cover dental insurance at a reasonable cost for children as well.  The cost of dental premiums will also be deducted from the obligor’s gross monthly resources to compute child support. The Code defines “reasonable cost” for dental coverage as no more than 1.5 percent of an obligor’s annual resources.  In short, the obligor will now pay medical support and dental support in addition to child support beginning next year.

If you are facing the possibility of paying support, contact your Houston Divorce lawyer at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C.  We can calculate your potential support amount or review a support order put in place previously.

Connect with me on Google+ at +Shawn Rudise

Houston child support attorney

Houston Child Support Lawyer: Above the Guidelines

As mentioned in a previous post, the Texas Family Code establishes guidelines for the courts to follow when ordering child support.  The guidelines translate to a percentage of an obligor’s net monthly income, which is also explained in that post. (Click here for the child support article) Client’s often ask if the guideline maximum amount of child support per month ($1,710.00 for one child, $2,137.50 for two and so one) is absolute.  As a Houston child support lawyer, I have to tell them, no.  Though not common, a court does have discretion to deviate from the guidelines if the evidence indicates that the guideline amount is not in the child’s best interest and it warrants a variance from the guidelines. The courts can look at the age and needs of the child, the financials of both parents, day care costs, etc. when determining the amount of support an obligor should pay.

Contact a Houston Child Support Lawyer today.  Call The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential and complimentary consultation.
Connect with me on Google+ at +Shawn Rudisel

Houston Child Support Lawyer: Child Support in Texas

Child support in Texas follows guidelines set out in the Texas Family Code, Chapter 154.  The guidelines assign percentages of net income based on the number of children the obligor (person responsible for paying child support) has a duty to support.  The child support guidelines are applied to only the first $8,550 of net income per month.  Read more below from Shawn M. Rudisel, your Houston child support lawyer.

Continue reading “Houston Child Support Lawyer: Child Support in Texas”