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How do I calculate my child support payment in Texas?

Texas has a child support formula to determine the amount the state “presumes” is in the child’s best interest.  Child support in Texas is determined by figuring out the average net monthly resources of the paying parent and applying a percentage of those average net monthly resources depending on how many children there are.  The percentages are slightly different if the paying parent has a legal responsibility to also pay for other children who are not involved in the parents’ current case.

The first step is to calculate the paying parent’s average net monthly resources.  This is done by first calculating gross income on an annual basis.

Include the following income in your annual gross income: 

  1. One hundred percent of all wage and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
  2. Interest, dividends, and royalty income;
  3. Self-employment income;
  4. Net rental income (rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation);  and
  5. 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.

Do not include in your gross income:

  1. Return of principal or capital on a note not included in net resources;
  2. Accounts receivable;
  3. Benefits paid through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
  4. Payments for foster care; or
  5. Net resources of a new spouse.

The second step is to divide the annual gross income you get by 12 to give you average monthly gross income, then subtract the following  to give you average net monthly resources:

  1. Social security tax and Federal income taxes paid for a single person;
  2. State income taxes;
  3. Union dues; and
  4. Child’s health insurance cost or cash medical support.

The third step to determine the amount of monthly child support, apply the percentages below to the average net monthly resources you just calculated.

Percentages of Net Monthly Resources per Child:

  • 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

Effect of Social Security or Disability Benefits on Texas Child Support

If the child receives social security or disability benefits from the paying spouse, those amounts are subtracted from the total amount of child support as calculated under the Texas guidelines.

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