Setting The Right Amount Of Support For Your Child
Everyone acknowledges that it costs money to raise a child. During divorces, disputes often arise over exactly how much child support is necessary and reasonable. The Texas Family Code contains predetermined guidelines that outline how child support should be calculated. However, in certain situations the courts can set support above or below the statutory guideline support amount.
At the law firm of Palmer Lehman Sandberg, PLLC we use our decades of experience to see that the appropriate amount of support is awarded during a divorce, paternity action or modification action.
The Child Support Guidelines
The Texas Family Code’s guidelines are designed to apply to a noncustodial parent’s monthly maximum net resources of $8,550 if W-2 employed and $12,702 if self-employed:
- One child: 20% of the obligor’s net income
- Two children: 25% of the obligor’s net income
- Three children: 30% of the obligor’s net income
- Four children: 35% of the obligor’s net income
- Five children: 40% of the obligor’s net income
- Six or more children: Not less than 40% of the obligor’s net income
The term “obligor” refers to the parent responsible for paying child support, who is almost always the parent who does not have “primary possession” of the child.
Deviations From The Child Support Guidelines
While the guidelines apply in the majority of situations, there are exceptions. Situations that may justify deviation from child support guidelines cases include those involving children from other marriages or where the “needs of the child” exceeds the guideline amount of child support or if the monthly net resources the obligor exceeds maximum net resources. There may also be circumstances that justify the imposition of less than the guideline child support such as 50/50 possession.
Our attorneys have extensive experience identifying situations that require stepping away from the guidelines so that outcomes are fair to children and their parents.