Child support in Texas is based entirely on the payor’s income if he/she earns approximately $150,000 per year or less. You start with the after tax income of the payor and subtract the cost of the child’s health insurance (the payor will also be providing health insurance). Then, child support is 20% for one child, and an additional 5% for each additional child, up to 50% of the payor’s income. If the payor is also legally responsible for another child, meaning that he/she is ordered to pay child support to someone else, or there is a child born of a later marriage, the percentages are adjusted a bit. If you have a special needs child, the court may vary from the guidelines, but in this pay range, most courts stick to guidelines for child support extremely closely.
The attorney general’s office puts out a schedule of what after-tax income should be, and that is the number used for this calculation, so it doesn’t matter if the payor pays into retirement, or has loans or extra taxes taken out of his/her paycheck.
For a self-employed person, tax returns are sometimes deceptive. If the income seems markedly low, we will look at what is being deducted, and the standard of living enjoyed by the payor. If you have someone living in a $350,000 home and driving a nice vehicle and yet they are claiming a loss every year, the court is likely to calculate child support based on evidence that the payors real income is markedly higher than what is being reported to the IRS.
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