The end of a relationship is a very challenging and stressful period. Especially when there are kids involved, the situation can be more complex. A lot of divorcing couples with kids often think of how much they have to spend when it comes to child support.
Child support is just one of the numerous issues that couples need to settle if they decide to go on separate ways. But how does child support calculated? Every state has different rules on how to determine how much each parent will to pay in child support.
In Texas, the courts utilize a specific formula to calculate the child support. And the formula is according to the percentage of each parent’s net income. If you want to know more, read on.
Child Support Calculation in Texas
First, the law court should determine the gross income of each party. Gross income is the total income before taxes or other deductions, and which involves wages, cash, dividends, bonuses, pensions, rents, and other kinds of income. The equal market value of products or services accepted as payment is also equivalent to gross income.
After the court calculated each party’s gross income, they subtract specific expenses to produce net income. Here are some examples of the costs:
- Total annual state income tax
- Total annual paid federal income taxes which comes from the tax percentage of a single filer with one particular exemption
- Total annual paid Social Security tax
- Annual retirement contributions which are mandatory
- Annual medical expenses and health insurance premiums
After applying the deductions and determining the net income, the net income will be then multiplied by a specific percentage as stated in the Texas Family Code. This percentage will differ depending on the number of involved children. The percentages are as follows:
- One child – 20% of the net income
- Two children – 25% of the net income
- Three children – 30% of the net income
- Four children – 35% of the income
- Five children or more – not less than 40% of the net income
For instance, if the father or mother has obligations to pay support for only one kid and he or she has a monthly net source of $2,000 then he or she needs to pay $400 every month in child support.
Factors That Can Change Child Support Amount
It’s necessary to note that each circumstance is different and the formula is just a basic guideline. A judge can adjust the child support above or below the possible amount of the guidelines.
Here are the factors that a judge may consider:
- The child’s age and needs
- Providing payments of uninsured medical expenses and health insurance
- Educational bills after secondary school
- Child care bills which permit either party to continue gainful employment
- Spousal maintenance received or paid
- Any resources available for the child’s support
- Exceptional healthcare, education, or other expenses of the child or the parties involved
- Each party’s access or duration of possession to the child
- Debts presumed by either party
- Benefits such as house, car, or other benefits paid by another person, employer, or a business
- The paying spouse’s earning potential if intentionally underemployed or unemployed and any considered income
The judge of the court is not allowed to consider these factors in adjusting the child support:
- The marital status of the parents
- The sex of the child, the recipient’s spouse, or the paying spouse
- The history of voluntary settlement pay above the guidelines amount
Deciding to end the relationship is certainly a difficult situation. Perhaps you and your partner decided to go on separate ways, leaving you wondering how the whole process will affect your children. You can’t deny the fact that aside from giving emotional support, both of you have financial obligations to them.
Both parties are highly encouraged to consult with child support attorneys in Houston Texas to acquire precise monthly child support responsibilities based on individual situations.