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Child Support

Changes To Texas Child Support Calculations

There was a major change to how child support is calculated in Texas for parents with lower incomes. This article outlines this change while also providing an overall explanation of how the Texas Family Code defines and determines child support payments for non-custodial parents.

What is Child Support?

Child support can be defined as the money that one parent (typically the non-custodial parent or obligor) pays to the other parent (typically the custodial parent or obligee) for the care and costs associated with their shared child[ren]. This can be seen as supplementing the money that the custodial parent already spends on caring for their child[ren]. 

How Much Do I Have To Pay In Child Support?

The maximum amount of child support in Texas is calculated by using a set formula that has been determined to be in the child’s best interest. Parents can always agree to a different amount that works for each of them, but when there is a disagreement, a judge will consult the Texas Family Code.  

A Court will award child support in the “best interest” of the child[ren]. This can fluctuate from case to case. To help everyone involved arrive at a set number, the Texas legislature has provided a percentage that increases based on the number of children two parents share. This is the percentage of an obligor’s net resources (after taxes and other deductions) that should be used as the maximum amount of child support a non-custodial parent can be ordered to pay.

*If the non-custodial parent has children from another relationship, the percentages will differ from the ones above 

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What Has Changed Regarding Texas Child Support Payments?

There was a major change in 2021 for parents with lower incomes. For cases filed after September 1, 2021, if an obligor’s monthly net resources are less than $1,000 a month, the following chart has updated percentages to account for wage disparity.  

This change in the law can have major implications for lower-income families.  

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What Does This All Mean For Me?

If you believe your child support is currently set at an incorrect amount, the general rule is that child support modifications are NOT retroactive. Whenever there’s a major change to your income or earning potential, it’s crucial that you reach out to a Court for a temporary reduction in payments.  

An obligation to pay does not reduce or end due to a change in circumstance unless you take affirmative action.  

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced family law attorneys takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. Our attorneys currently practice in Colorado, California, and Texas. Click the following link to view all of our family law locations. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.

By J. Riggs, Esq.

Posted January 03, 2022

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