How to calculate child support in Texas

How to calculate child support in Texas

Learn how to calculate child support in Texas.  Our state uses a formula to determine the amount of child support the state “presumes” is in the child’s best interest.   In a nutshell, to calculate child support in Texas, you determine the average net monthly resources of the paying parent and applying the percentages established by the Texas legislature.

If you are totally baffled (don’t feel bad, most people are), then try this Texas Attorney General Child Support Calculator .  This calculator will give you a pretty good idea of the amount that you will pay.

Want to take a stab at it yourself? Follow  these 3 steps:

 Step 1 – Determine what income is and is not to be included to determine your annual gross income calculation:

The following sources of income are used to determine your annual gross income calculation:

  • All wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
  • All interest, dividends, and royalty income;
  • All self-employment income;
  • All net rental income (rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including non-cash items such as depreciation); and
  • All other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement pay, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, disability and workers’ compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, child support, and alimony.

The following sources of income are not used to determine your annual gross income calculation:

  • Any return of principal or capital on a note not included in net resources;
  • Any unpaid accounts receivable;
  • Any benefits paid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
  • Any payments for providing foster care; or
  • Any form of income earned by a new spouse.

Step 2: Get the average monthly income.

Divide the annual gross income you get by 12 to give you average monthly gross income.

Step 3: Subtract the  the following from the average monthly income to give you average monthly net resources:

  • All federal income taxes paid for a single person claiming one personal deduction and the standard deduction;
  • All state income taxes;
  • All social security taxes (tip: click here to see a chart that shows monthly net income after taxes);
  • All union dues; and
  • All money paid for child’s health insurance cost or cash medical support.

To determine the amount of monthly child support, apply the percentages below to the average monthly net resources up to a cap of $9,200.00 net monthly resources.   The cap on the maximum average net monthly resource amount will be adjusted every six years according to inflation.  Next time it will be adjusted is September 2026.  If the average net monthly resources is less than 9,200.00, the amount of child support is calculated as a percentage of the actual average net monthly resources in the list below:

  • 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 Not less than 40% of net resources

If the net monthly resources are more than $9,200.00, the amount of child support may be adjusted upward if the child’s proven needs are greater than the presumptive guidelines amount. A court may order one or both parents depending to pay the difference between the guideline amount and the child’s proven needs.  A judge cannot order more than the presumptive amount of child support or one hundred percent of the child’s proven needs, whichever is greater.  If the child receives social security or disability benefits from the paying spouse’s old age social security or disability benefits, those amounts are subtracted from the total amount of child support required under the guidelines.  In cases where the parent paying child support is paying child support for other children outside of this case, the percentages are slightly lower.