How To Calculate Child Support in Texas

by Scott Morgan on July 8, 2012

This video goes through the process of calculating child support in a typical Texas case. If you prefer, you can read the transcript below:

Video Transcript

My name is Scott Morgan and I am a board certified Texas family law attorney. In this video I am going to walk through an example of a very simple child support calculation.

In Texas child support is calculated using a formula from the Texas Family Code.  To calculate the child support amount you start with the payor’s monthly gross income.  That amount is then reduced to allow for certain deductions, such as taxes and certain health insurance expenses.  Once these deductions are made you have calculated the payor’s monthly “net resources.”

Note that this number is likely not the same as the payor’s actual take-home income.  There are a lot of deductions that come out of someone’s paycheck, for example 401k contributions, that are not factored into the calculation of monthly net resources.

Once the monthly net resources are calculated, you multiply that amount by a percentage to arrive at the monthly child support amount.  The percentage is determined by how many children there are, with a reduction in the percentage if the payor has other children he is legally responsible for.

As a simple example, lets take a payor who makes $96,000/year or $8,000/month.  Assuming this payor is not self-employed (the net resources calculation is slightly different for the self-employed), we would look at the statutory deduction chart and see that the monthly net resource amount would be $5,920. If we further assume that the child support is for one child and the payor has no other children, then the statutory percentage would be 20%.  We multiply the net resource amount ($5,920) by 20% to arrive at a monthly child support amount of $1,184.

This has been a very simple example and, as with everything in family law, there are certain exceptions that can apply, but this is how child support is calculated in the vast majority of cases in Texas.

I hope you found this video helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions for future videos please feel free to comment below.

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Scott Morgan is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is has practiced family law since 1994 and is the founder of the Morgan Law Firm which is dedicated exclusively to representing divorce and family law clients in the Houston and Austin areas.

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