Child Support in Divorce

One of the highest points of contention in divorce can be the payment of child support. Parents want to make sure their children are cared for, but when one parent pays child support to the other parent, they may feel like the other parent is benefiting from the support payments rather than the child.

In Texas, child support is typically calculated using the income-percentage model. This model pre-determines a percentage of the non-primary parent’s net-income available for support which will be paid for support of the children. If a parent has other children from prior or subsequent relationships that they are required to support, the parent receives a small percentage reduction.

The formula to calculate support is:

Gross Monthly Income

 – Federal (and State)Tax Withholdings for a single person with no dependents

– actual cost of health & dental insurance for children

– union dues =Net income available for support

Net Income Available for Support x percentage of support=monthly child support

While child support is set by statute, it is negotiable in certain circumstances, and the Texas Family Code provides for alternative calculation when it is in the children’s best interest to deviate from the guidelines.

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