How Child Support Is Calculated In Texas

child support payment checklist

Texas Child Support Calculations

One the of concerns parents often have when going through a divorce is how much child support they will need to pay.  Texas child support laws provide a formula and guidelines for a judge to use to determine how much child support a parent should pay.  The formula the judge uses is a percentage of the parent’s net income based on the amount of children the parent is supporting.

Determine Gross Income

In order to determine net income, first you have to figure your gross income.  When figuring gross income, all sources of income must be considered. Child support attorneys in Austin are extremely knowledgeable in helping determine what income you should include when calculating your gross income. Wages, salary, bonuses, rents, dividends, pensions, annuities, unemployment income, social security benefits, and any other forms of income should be added up for an average monthly income.  

Determine Net Income

Once a gross income is determined, the courts will subtract certain deductions to calculate the parent’s net income.  Parents pay child support based on net income.  The guidelines determine the percentage of net income to be paid per child. The deductions from the gross income the court will use are federal income tax, state income tax (Texas does not have state income tax, however, if the parent receives income from another state, this may apply), social security tax, retirement contributions, union dues, health insurance, and medical expenses.  

Determine Support Payment

Once the net income of the parent is determined, the net income is multiplied by a percentage using the Texas child support calculator per the Texas Family Code.  These guidelines state that the amount of child support to be paid by the parent is:


  • 20% of net income for 1 child
  • 25% of net income for 2 children
  • 30% of net income for 3 children
  • 35% of net income for 4 children
  • 40% of net income for 5 or more children


The state of Texas has a cap on net income to be considered for child support.  Only the first $8,550 of net income will be considered when calculating child support.  Other income above that amount will not be considered.  However, the court may order the parent to pay additional child support if the child has additional needs. An Austin child support lawyer can also help you determine if such factors affect your case.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, educational needs of the child, childcare expenses, the net resources and/or earning potential of the parent that receives child support, spousal support, and debts assumed by either parent. The child support can also be reduced by the court if the payor is making child support payments to other children from another mother.   



Lawyer Referral Service has exceptional resources here to help you find the best child support attorney in Austin.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding child support laws, contact us today for a consultation, or submit an online request by filling out our contact form.   


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