How is Texas Child Support Calculated?

Texas law provides clear guidelines for the award of child support to be paid in child custody matters. Texas child support is generally calculated from a parent’s net (after tax) resources, not gross (pre-tax) resources.  For most people, this primarily means their paycheck, which is typically paid by an employer monthly, twice per month, every two weeks or on some other basis.  The timetable that applies to how a parent gets paid by the employer generally determines how often the Court will order Texas child support to be paid as well.

Bonuses, deferred compensation and other types of income can also be included into this calculation.  For self-employed parents, the calculation of Texas child support increases in complexity as numerous factors are involved, as opposed to a salaried W-2 employee.  The salary of the parent obligated to pay child support is not the only element of compensation that a Houston family court can consider.

The Texas child support payments themselves are often ordered to be withheld from the paycheck of the parent paying child support to ensure that the money is timely sent to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for distribution to the parent ordered to receive child support payments.

In determining what a parent’s “net resources” are, there are mandatory deductions that go into this calculation.  These deductions include:

  • Social Security taxes;
  • Federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction;
  • State income tax (if applicable for a non-possessory conservator who lives in a state outside of Texas);
  • Union dues; and
  • Expenses for the children’s health insurance coverage.

In a situation where the parent who is obligated to pay child support does not support any children other than the children receiving child support under the order, the following is the general guideline for Texas child support in terms of the percentage of the party’s net resources:

One Child            –            20% of Net Resources

Two Children     –            25% of Net Resources

Three Children  –            30% of Net Resources

Four Children     –            35% of Net Resources

Five Children      –            40% of Net Resources

Six Children        –            40% of Net Resources

Seven Children –            40% of Net Resources

If you have a situation pertaining to Texas child support or a child custody matter in a Houston family law court, contact the attorneys at The Larson Law Office at 713-221-9088.


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