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How Much Will I Owe for Child Support?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2013 | Firm News |

The Texas Legislature enacted statutes governing the calculation of child support.  The law requires that both parents contribute to the support of their child, to the extent of the actual proven needs of the child, based on their respective abilities to pay, and taking into account the amount of nonmonetary support each parent may provide.  All of that can be complicated, so in most cases courts follow the “percentage amount” in determining the amount to the paid. The percentage amount suggested by the legislature calls for the non primary parent to pay the custodial parent 20% of his or her “net resources” up to a maximum of $7,500.00 per month if there is one child.  The percentage goes up by 5% for each additional child.  These percentages are reduced if the parent paying child support is already paying support for children from another relationship.  The laws set out the various types of income and cash flow which comprise net resources.  Salary is included, rental income, interest and dividend income, retirement pay, social security and many other forms of cash flow.  Certain deductions from the gross amount are permitted, but not everything being withheld from your paycheck can be subtracted when determining your net resources (such as contributions to a retirement plan, or excessive withholding for federal income taxes).  The income of a new spouse is never considered. Divorcing couples have wide latitude to come up with a plan for child support, provided both parties agree to the plan.  Absent agreement, the court can order any provisions for support of the child that it deems in the best interest of the child.  When both parents have approximately equal possession of the child, but one parent has a greater income, the court may order the parent with the greater income to pay an amount of child support based on the difference between the net resources of the parents. Generally, child support payments continue until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later.  If the initial support order included two or more children, the amount may be reduced as each child cycles out of eligibility.  Child support orders can be changed periodically as circumstances change (perhaps loss of employment), and can continue into a disabled child’s adulthood.  The court retains jurisdiction over the child and the parents as long as the child is eligible for support. At the firm of Puhl and Berbarie, we help many people achieve necessary and desirable changes in child support orders. For more information, talk to one of our divorce attorneys today.

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