exas law requires both parents to financially support their children. This begs the question of how much child support a parent must pay. This issue becomes more complex when one of the parents is a high-income individual. Under these circumstances, a minimum amount of child support could result in one parent living in a multi-million-dollar home while the other parent struggles to make ends meet. Here, we will discuss the factors that affect the amount of child support in these circumstances.

In most cases, one parent will be ordered to pay a set amount of monthly child support to the other parent. Child support is generally paid to the parent who has more possession time with the children. However, Texas law remains flexible enough to require either parent to pay child support, depending on the needs of the child.

Texas law has a formula for calculating the amount of child support. The first step is to determine the parent’s resources available for paying child support. This will include all forms of income: salary, income from a business, rental income, commissions, bonuses, trust income, and the like. We then apply a percentage to the amount of income based on the number of children who require support. The percentages are as follows:

  •  1 child: 20% of income
  • 2 children: 25% of income
  • 3 children: 30% of income
  • 4 children: 35% of income
  • 5 children: 40% of income
  • 6+ children: not less than the amount for 5 children

However, Texas law places a “cap” on the amount of a parent’s income that can be automatically considered for child support. This amount changes every few years based on inflation but is currently $9,200.00 per month. This means that the “cap” on child support for a parent supporting one child is $1,840.00 per month ($9,200.00 x 20% = $1,840.00).

If the parent paying child support has monthly income that exceeds this “cap,” the court may order more child support based on the actual needs of the child. The needs of the child include many things. It can include a portion of the normal living expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and food. It can also include expenses that are unique to each child, such as costs for sports or extracurricular activities. Other common expenses include schooling costs such as daycare, afterschool care, or private school.

Texas law does not limit a child’s reasonable needs to the bare minimum of food and shelter. Rather, needs can include things that are particular to the child in the case. Once the child’s needs are determined, the court can then order either parent to pay these extra expenses.

Under Texas law, it is possible to obtain more than the minimum amount of child support, depending on the facts of each case. Here at Thompson Salinas Londergan, we are ready to discuss the child support issues in your case.

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