Texas courts calculate the minimum amount for child support based on statutory guidelines based on a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s net income. Unlike other states, in Texas, the income of the custodial parent is not considered in the calculation. As income for determining child support, Texas courts will consider resources including all wages, salary, commissions, tips, overtime and bonuses, including any government benefits, severance pay or retirement benefits. The courts will also factor in alimony, gifts, prizes, and other costs. Resources do not include return of principal, payments from public assistance, payments for foster care, or accounts receivable.
Once the income is determined, the Texas court will then determine the percentage to be applied to the net income to determine the actual child support amount. That percentage is based on the number of children before the court as follows:
For one child, 20% of net
For two children, 25% of net
For three children, 30% of net
For four children, 35% of net
For five children, 40% of net
For six children, Not less than the amount for five children
These percentages are reduced if there are other children of the noncustodial parent who are not before the court. Of course, either parent has the right to challenge the amount (either seeking less or more) in court. Some of the challenges might be asking the court to consider deemed income or whether a parent is intentionally unemployed or underemployed. Working with an attorney who focuses on child support can help you better understand your obligations and rights with regards to child support.