Law Office of Ellen Dixius

How is child support calculated?

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce in Texas and you have children, two important considerations are who will get custody and who will pay for their expenses. There are numerous factors that go into calculating child support, and the court may order one or both parents to contribute financially. 

According to Very Well Family, even in joint custody situations it is better for the child when child support is present. Benefits include:

  • Child's wellbeing is better
  • Easier adjustment for child
  • Better overall social adjustment post-divorce
  • Positive effect on school performance

If the parents are able to communicate effectively and they come up with a child support plan they both agree upon, the courts may not need to get involved. For those who cannot agree, the State of Texas calculates child support based on income percentage.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas uses a varying percentage model based on the non-custodial parent (NCP), also known as the obligor. Along with figuring out the percentage of income based on the number of children, other factors can increase or decrease the amount of support the obligor pays. These factors include:

  • Self-support reserve for the NCP
  • Health insurance and healthcare expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Support for previous children

Typically, child support payments continue until the age of 18 or high school graduation. Less common situations in which payments can cease include the death of the child, marriage, the adoption of the child by a new spouse or indefinite disabilities.



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