If you are the primary caretaker of your children, then negotiating a fair child support arrangement is probably high on your list of concerns. Working with an experienced child support attorney may help your case. Fortunately, many jurisdictions, including Texas, explicitly take into account a child’s “best interests” when awarding child support.
Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help with the costs of raising the child. Payments are intended to go toward the child’s basic necessities, such as food, clothing, and housing, as well as other needs, including educational, medical, and transportation expenses. Child support is not intended to support you or your child’s lifestyle choices.
Texas Child Support Guidelines
In Texas, we have guidelines that set out what the legislature believes is a fair amount of child support to pay. These guidelines calculate support based on the income of the person paying the support (“obligor”) and apply a percentage to that income to come up with the child support amount.
- 1 child = 20%
- 2 children = 25%
- 3 children = 30%
- 4 children = 35%
- 5 children = 40%
- 6 or more children = not less than the amount for 5 children
These percentages are applied to the obligor’s net resources. The law defines “net resources” to include any and all sources of income received by the obligor minus certain items, including:
- Social Security taxes, or non-discretionary retirement contributions, if the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay Social Security taxes
- State and federal income taxes for a single person claiming one personal exemption and one standard deduction
- Health insurance or cash medical support (for the child only) if paid by the non-custodial parent, and
- Union dues
The percentages will vary slightly if the obligor has children with someone other than you. It is also possible to get more or less than the guideline amount under certain circumstances.
At Alexandra Geczi PLLC Family Law, our child support attorneys have experience helping women who are dealing with child support issues, including negotiating a fair child support amount and collecting child support payments from fathers who aren’t paying.