Child support laws can be confusing on how they are calculated, how they can be modified, and what the process is to establish or change child support. Lucé Law, PC has created this simple guide to explain how child support laws work and how your amount is calculated.
In Texas, the noncustodial parent must pay child support. A noncustodial parent is a parent with whom the children do not live the majority of the time. The amount a noncustodial parent must pay depends on their net income and the number of children to be supported.
Calculation of Child Support
The child support you are required to pay is calculated by taking the parent’s gross income and subtracting social security taxes, federal income tax, union dues, and health insurance or medical expenses for the children. The amount left over is the parent’s net income. Then that net monthly income is multiplied by a certain percentage depending on how many children the parent is supporting. For example, a parent with $4,000 monthly net income has two children. $4,000 x.25 (25% for two children) and he or she would owe $1000 a month in child support.
How Long Does Child Support Last?
The noncustodial parent is required to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18 or until the child graduates from high school. There are exceptions for extending child support if the child is mentally or physically disabled. Support can be terminated early if the child marries or enlists in the military. Speak to your attorney about your particular circumstances.
How Do I Modify Child Support?
A child support amount can be modified if circumstances change substantially: for example, if you lose your job and you are unable to find work that pays near the same amount. The custodial parent can request a modification if there has been a substantial increase in the noncustodial parent’s income or resources.