Child Support Outside the Guidelines



The Texas Family Code states specific guidelines for determining child support to be paid.  These basic guidelines are as follows:


  • 20% of the obligor’s (payor’s) net resources for one child
  • 25% for 2 children,
  • 30% for 3 children,
  • 35% for 4 children,
  • 40% for 5 children,
  • Not less than 40% for 6 or more children.
These are the standard guidelines. However, there are times when “one size fits all” just doesn’t work.

For instance, either party may have physical limitations, may be unemployed through no fault of his/her own, may have other children to support, may be paying spousal maintenance as well as child support, may have taken on the majority of debt from the marriage, or may have to incur travel expenses to visit the child.  Some other factors which may be considered: whether either party has automobile, housing or other benefits furnished to them, and which party is paying uninsured medical expenses.

The age and needs of the child will also be taken into account.
In short, “..any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.”
See Texas Family Code Section 154.123.
A Texas family law attorney can help you decide how much child support you should seek or expect to pay in your divorce case. If you are already divorced and believe that you may need to seek a modification of child support that you pay or receive, a consultation with a child support attorney can help you.   You should bring evidence of your income to the meeting.
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