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Overview of how child support gets figured in Texas


Unlike several other states, Texas uses what is called a net income approach to figuring child support. What this means is that a Killeen parent’s income, and only that income, will be what determines the support obligation of that parent.

Basically, income includes just about any payment a parent gets no matter the source, although certain items are excluded. Certain deductions are taken out of this figure, mostly for taxes, but also to give a parent appropriate credit when he or she is providing health insurance for the children

Once a parent’s net resources, that is, income less legally authorized credits, have been calculated, the law requires courts to order that a parent of one child apply 20 percent of those resources to child support. A parent who has additional children will be expected to apply additional resources, up to at least 40 percent of the parent’s net resources.

While the math itself might be relatively straightforward, parents can get in to contentious disputes about how much a parent makes. For example, they may disagree about how much income one of them is truly making from self-employment, or they may also disagree on how much of a credit a parent should get for an expense.

The bottom line is that child support is not always just a matter of plugging numbers in to a formula. Sometimes, a parent may need the help of an experienced attorney to understand his or her options and then to tell his or her version of events to a judge. Doing so can save a parent hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the long haul.