Under Title V, Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code, a mathematical formula is provided to determine child support. While each case is different, Title V considers a number of factors when determining the amount of child support link to be paid, under what conditions wages can be garnished, if medical coverage must be provided, how retroactive child support will be handled, and when child support obligations end.
Since child support is for the maintenance and upkeep of a child, it is not intended as a punitive measure or an "award" for the custodial parent; rather, it is the right of the child involved. For this reason, any change in child support payments must first be approved by the court through a post-divorce modification.
Changes in Child Support and Post-Divorce Modifications
In general, the court will approve a decrease or increase in child support if there is a substantial change in the material conditions of either the custodial or non-custodial parent. Here, illness or job loss that results in reduced income can convince the court to modify the amount of child support originally ordered in your divorce settlement. It's important to note, however, that job loss or illness alone is not enough to justify a change in child support payments. For example, if you receive unemployment or disability benefits, the court may decide you still have enough disposable income to continue paying child support.
Additionally, if the custodial parent must pay for daycare for their child, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay more to help defray the cost. If the custodial parent does not have health insurance for themselves or their child, the non-custodial parent may be required to the court to pay for insurance coverage for their child.
Calculating Child Support in Texas
If you are ordered to pay child support, you will first need to determine your gross income. You can deduct any Social Security withholding, the insurance premium you pay on your child, and federal income tax withholding as a single filer. After you determine your gross income, you can then multiply that number by the following percentages that apply to the number of children you have:
- 1 child = 20%
- 2 children = 25%
- 3 children = 30%
- 4 or more = 35%
Child Custody and Child Support
Child custody arrangements can also affect the amount of child support paid. In cases involving shared or joint custody, since a child's time is divided equally between his or her parents, child support payments are typically reduced. However, depending on the specifics of each parent's situation, the court may still order one parent to pay an increased amount of child support if circumstances warrant doing so.
If you have questions regarding child support and divorce, contact Frisco, Texas child support attorneys at Pfister Family Law today to learn how we can help you.