Even after a divorce, both parents still have a duty to support their children. That is why one parent often has to pay child support to the custodial parent, so they can help provide for their children.
This can leave many parents wondering: how much must they pay in child support?
Texas has specific guidelines to calculate child support
There are generally two steps to determine how much child support you will pay each month:
- Calculate your monthly income, subtracting taxes, insurance premiums, contributions to retirement or other similar expenses.
- Then follow Texas child support percentage guidelines to determine how much child support you will pay. Generally, it increases by 5% depending on how many children you cover. For example, you will pay 20% of your monthly income for one child, and 25% of your monthly income for two children.
The Texas Attorney General offers a monthly child support calculator to help you estimate how much you will pay.
However, these guidelines do also come with a cap on how much support you might have to pay. As of September 1, 2019, the maximum amount of child support for one child is $1,840. This cap varies with inflation usually every six years.
Family courts may consider other factors too
There are certain cases where Texas family courts will consider other factors if the percentage guidelines are not appropriate in your situation. They may also consider:
- The child’s age and specific needs;
- Your financial ability to support your child;
- The custody arrangement; and
- The spousal maintenance agreement, if there is one.
Usually, family courts will consider these factors if the state guidelines do not fulfill the best interests of the child or your ability to provide proper support.
Even though Texas law provides specific guidelines for you to determine how much child support you will pay, it often still depends on the facts of your situation. When figuring your child support obligations, it is often beneficial to consult an experienced family law attorney.