In Texas, the parent who pays child support is referred to as the ‘obligor.’ Under state law the obligor’s child support payments will be based on several different factors, including:
- Net Income (Financial Resources): The most important factor in determining child support in Texas is the financial means of the obligor. The higher a non-custodial parent’s monthly income, the more child support they will likely be required to pay — up to a maximum monthly limit. Texas child support guidelines state a parent with one child owes 20 percent of their net monthly resources in child support.
- Number of Children Being Supported: The number of children being supported matters. While the Texas child support guidelines state a parent with one child owes 20 percent of their net resources in support, the percentage of net income owed will increase if a parent has more children to support. For comparison, a parent with four children would owe 35 percent of their monthly net income in child support.
- Medical Needs: The medical needs of the child will impact support. As a baseline, parents may need to contribute to health insurance coverage. Additionally, if a child has unique medical needs, an obligor will likely be required to share some of those costs.
Texas family law courts can also consider other factors when those factors are deemed relevant to crafting a fair, equitable child support award. As an example, a parent who has no income, but who has substantial financial resources and assets at their disposal, may be required to pay more in child support than the standardized guidelines would otherwise suggest.