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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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The calculation of Texas child support payments

When the judge presiding over a divorce decides which parent will have primary custody of a child, the custodial parent may request child support payments from the noncustodial parent. The judge must then determine the amount of the payments based on the best interests of the child.

Guidelines have been put in place to help judges determine how much noncustodial parents should pay to custodial parents to provide for the needs of their children. The calculation of child support generally requires a percentage to be applied to the noncustodial parent's net income. The percentage is based on the number of children for whom the custodial parent is seeking child support.

In a case that involves just one child, the guidelines indicate that the noncustodial parent should pay around 20 percent of their income. The percentage increases in 5-percent increments until there are five or more children involved, ceasing at 40 percent. Although these are guidelines that judges must follow, they could adjust the amount of the payments if there is cause to do so. Such a cause could be undue hardship for either parent or the child.

When noncustodial parents have other children to whom they are paying child support, however, the percentage of their payments are generally reduced. The guidelines show that a parent already paying support for one child pays around 17.5 percent. If the parent is already paying for three children, the individual pays 16 percent for another child.

Sometimes divorcing parents are able to decide on custody and child support arrangments before presenting the issue to a judge. There are also cases in which two parents were never married, but one of them is seeking support to care for their child. Either way, parents who wish to seek child support might ask their attorneys for help with the settlements.

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