Guideline child support is based on all the Obligor’s financial resources: wages and salary, commissions and overtime, interest income, rental income, income from retirement, trusts, annuities, unemployment benefits, and any other income received by the Obligor. A spouse’s income is not included in the Obligor’s resources.
The court can require parties to provide information about their income and resources. Parties should be prepared to provide the court the past two year’s income tax returns, a financial statement, and current pay stubs.
To calculate guideline child support, obtain Obligor’s gross monthly income. After the average monthly gross income is determined, certain deductions are taken. These deductions include:
- social security taxes
- federal income taxes (based on a single person, claiming one exemption)
- state income taxes (if they apply, Texas has no state income taxes)
- union dues; and
- expenses for the child’s health insurance coverage
Deductions do not include the needs of an Obligor’s spouse or stepchildren.
Next, apply the percentage guidelines to the Obligor’s average monthly net income. If the Obligor’s average monthly net income is more than $9,200, then the guidelines only apply to the first $9,200. In cases where the Obligor, or parent who is obligated to pay child support, has other children to support, the percentages are slightly lower than the percentages stated above. The court may order additional child support, as needed, depending on the child’s needs.
*Beginning September 1, 2021, there are new guidelines for calculating child support when obligors have limited resources.