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How is the child support formula calculated in Texas?

When a parent is required to pay child support in Texas, one of the most frequent questions surrounds the child support formula that determines how much will be paid. In addition, the supporting parent might wonder whether or not there can be child support modification if the circumstances change. Understanding Texas' child support calculator and how it works is the first step to gathering an understanding as to how the payments are decided upon.

People come from all different walks of life and earn income in various ways. Some work hourly, some draw a salary and some are self-employed. This will lead to differences in the amount they earn every week, two weeks or month. The child support calculator has three different areas to accommodate those who earn their money in various ways, with subsets depending on their situation. If, for example, a person earns a salary, they will be asked to detail when they are paid and what the gross amount is. This holds true for the other levels of employment as well.

Many people have deductions for medical support under a court order, meaning they have to pay for the child's medical care. If there is an amount that is paid per month or in another time frame for this, it must be added when the child support calculation is made. Some people have more than one child and might have to pay child support to different mothers or fathers. This too will factor into the child support payments. The number of children under the age of 18 being supported as well as any court ordered obligations will have to be listed. If the supporting parent has a new spouse and children in that relationship, this too will be accounted for in the formula.

A child support modification might be possible if either of the parent's, or the child's circumstances have materially changed. Child support can be a contentious issue and if there are questions or a desire to have the agreement altered, it's important to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney to get accurate information on how to proceed.

Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, "Monthly Child Support Calculator," accessed on Oct. 14, 2014

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