Calculating and Modifying Child Support in Texas
Texas child support
Texas calculates the amount of child support owed by using a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. Unlike states that use the income shares model to calculate child support, the percentage model does not take into account the income of the custodial parent.
When calculating the child support amount, the court will determine how much money the obligator makes. This gross income includes wages, bonuses, tips, interest, social security benefits, annuities and unemployment benefits. Any income received from alimony, gifts and workers’ compensation benefits will also be taken into account. Once the amount of income has been established, the court will order a child support payment totaling 20 percent of the parent’s total after tax income for one child, 25 percent for two children and so forth, up to 50%. Additional child support may be required in order to cover the child’s health care costs, education and daycare expenses.
Modifying a child support order
In some cases, parents who are paying child support may go through unforeseeable circumstances that might prevent them from making their court-ordered child support payments. Such significant changes include the following:
• The non-custodial parent’s income increased significantly
• The child’s need for medical insurance coverage has changed
• The parenting plan has changed
• The noncustodial parent has become financially responsible for more children
Additionally, the child support order may be eligible for modification if it has been at least three years since the order was created. The changed amount must also differ by at least 20 percent in order for it to be considered.