The Texas Family Code includes very specific guidelines for the computing of child support requirements. The following guidelines are specifically designed to apply to situations in which the obligor’s monthly net resources are $9,200.00 or less. In such cases, the court presumptively applies the following schedule:

1 child
2 children
3 children
4 children
5 children
6 or more children

20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
35% of Obligor’s Net Resources
40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
Not less than 40%

If the Obligor has children from another relationship(s), the percentages listed above may be reduced.

If the obligor’s net resources exceed $9,200.00 per month, the Court shall presumptively apply the above percentages to the first $9,200.00 of net resources. Without further reference to the percentage, the court may order additional amounts of child support. The court may not order the obligor to pay more child support than the presumptive amount (as calculated by multiplying the above applicable percentage times $9,200.00) or an amount equal to 100% of the proven needs of the child, whichever is greater.

Net resources is legally defined very broadly, and income can also be imputed to a party.

In addition to monthly child support payments, the payor is required to maintain the children on the payor’s employment health insurance policy. If insurance is not available through the payor’s employment, but is available through the payee’s employment, the payor will be ordered to pay the premium costs. If insurance is not available through either parties’ employment, the payor will be ordered to provide insurance coverage to the extent available and affordable. The cost of the medical insurance is a deduction against a payor’s net resources. Additionally, the Court usually makes orders regarding the payment of deductibles and other uninsured expenses. All Orders dealing with child support must now be accompanied by an Order of Withholding. Medical Support Orders are now commonplace. The Withholding order, after presented to the payor’s employer, has the Court-ordered child support deducted directly from the payor’s paychecks.

The court may also elect to order the Payor to secure life insurance in order to cover the amount of child support that will become due until the child support obligation would terminate, which may extend to 18+ years.
Under the event of an absent marriage or other such acts which would emancipate the child, child support orders continue until the child reaches age 18. If the child is in high school at the age of 18, then child support continues until the time of high school graduation. If the child is in some way technically disabled, it may be possible to continue child support for an indefinite period of time. Texas law makes no such provisions for support during college, or the payment of any type of college expenses, however, this may be effected via contract between the concerned parties if an agreement can be reached regarding this issue.

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