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How Does Child Support Work In Texas

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

In most cases, the primary parent is entitled to child support to help meet the financial needs of the child or children. The state of Texas applies the following guidelines to be paid by the secondary parent to the primary parent.

One Child = 20% of Net Income

Two Children = 25% of Net Income

Three Children = 30% of Net Income

Four Children = 35% of Net Income

Five Children = 40% of Net Income

Over five = No Less Than 40% of Net Income

Net income is what is brought home after taxes. If the secondary parent makes more than $7,500 in net monthly income, the court could force additional payments beyond the standard guidelines if the primary parent can prove additional payments are required. Normally proving this need is centered around costs for tuition, medical fees, tutoring, and extracurricular activities.

As an example, let’s say the secondary parent makes $80,000 gross and has two children with their spouse. Net income after taxes will vary but for this example we’ll say the tax rate is 15% which makes net annual income $68,000 after taxes. ($80,000*0.85 = $68,000.) The table below provides some rough guidelines for tax rates in Texas.

$40,000= 12%= multiply by 0.88= $35,000 Net

$70,000=16% = multiply by .84= $58,000 Net

$90,000= 17%= multiply by 0.83= $74,700 Net

$110,000=18%= multiply by 0.82= $90,200 Net

(If the secondary spouse makes more than the above, their net income is likely to be higher than $7,500/month, so use $7,500/month as the net income.)

Divide the net annual income by 12 to get the monthly income. (68,000/12 = $5,666.66/month.) In this case the couple has two children so the secondary parent could be required to pay 25% of their net income, or $1,416.66 per month. ($5,666.66*.25 = $1,416.66.)

Ultimately any agreement can be reached between the parents. If the case goes to court the standard guidelines above will be applied and adjusted as the court sees fit. If the primary parent can prove additional funds are required, child support payments will be added beyond the standard guidelines. The child support payments are limited to what the primary parent can prove is required.

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