Child Support

Getting the correct amount of child support in Texas can be tricky whether you are going through a divorce, child custody or a modification case. It is important to let a skilled Houston child support lawyer evaluate your case so the your children can get the support they need.  Shawn M. Rudisel is a recognized Houston child support attorney and has the tools to get you the money you deserve.

Child Support and the Texas Family Code

The Texas Family Code has child support guidelines which recommend that the non-primary Joint Managing Conservators (parent who does not have custody of the child or children) pay a certain percentage of his or her net resources in child support. “Net resources” is defined as all income after taxes (including overtime pay), social security, union dues, and health care insurance for the children are subtracted.  If a person is remarried, their new spouses income cannot be included in the parent’s net resources.  The guidelines provide for the following percentages, depending on the number of children involved that are “before the court”:

One child –  20%

Two children – 25%

Three children – 30%

Four children – 35%

Five children – 40%

Six or more children – not less than for five children

The chart below calculates the correct percentage of child support applied to monthly resources when the responsible party has other children he or she is obligated to support.  Obligated to support means that a person is ordered to pay support for that child, is the biological parent of the child and that child lives with that parent or the child has been adopted by the parent.   Living with a significant other that has children will not affect the amount of support a person will be ordered to pay.

Multiple Family Adjusted Guidelines
Number of other children that Obligor has a duty to support Number of Children Before the Court
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
0 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 40.00 40.00
1 17.50 22.50 27.38 32.20 37.33 37.71 38.00
2 16.00 20.63 25.20 30.33 35.43 36.00 36.44
3 14.75 19.00 24.00 29.00 34.00 34.67 35.20
4 13.60 18.33 23.14 28.00 32.89 33.60 34.18
5 13.33 17.86 22.50 27.22 32.00 32.73 33.33
6 13.14 17.50 22.00 26.60 31.27 32.00 32.62
7 13.00 17.22 21.60 26.09 30.67 31.38 32.00

Percentage Applied to Net Monthly Income

Once a person’s net resources are calculated, Texas law allows a deduction for the following items:

  • Social Security taxes
  • Federal income taxes based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;
  • State income tax
  • Union dues
  • Health insurance coverage for the obligor’s child

The court has the ability to vary from these guidelines if it finds unusual circumstances warranting higher or lower support. These percentage guidelines apply only to the first $8,550.00 of the obligor’s net monthly resources. The court presumes that the appropriate percentage of $8,550.00 is adequate support for children, and it is up to the receiving parent to provide evidence to the court that the children need more. If the paying parent nets significantly more than $8,550.00 per month and the children’s needs justify higher child support, the court may order higher support. Additionally, the court typically orders the child-support paying spouse to also pay for the cost of the children’s medical insurance. Uninsured medical expenses, including co-pays or deductible amounts are generally paid equally by each parent. The income of the custodial parent may be considered in setting child support, but often times will have little effect. Your Houston child support lawyer will be able to determine your support payment based on the Texas Family Code.

Why you need a Houston child support attorney on your side

It is not always easy to get the correct amount of support even thought the Texas Family Code guidelines are straight forward.  Often times,  a Houston child support attorney must know where to look for the other parent’s income.  Once income is found, it must be presented to the court in an admissible fashion so the judge can set the correct amount of support.  It is not uncommon for divorcing parents to try and hide overtime pay, bonuses and other sources of revenue.

Contact Shawn M. Rudisel, your Houston Child Support Lawyer here at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for a complimentary consultation to discuss Child Support and its effects on a Divorce in Houston, Texas.