Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Child Support in Texas and How Divorce Settlements Affect It

In determining the amount of child support in Texas that a non-custodial parent has to pay, Texas courts look at that parent’s income. They do not take the income of the parent with custody into consideration. The income calculation involves adding up everything that the parent earned over the course of the year – this includes salary, tips, stock dividends, royalty income and retirement money. After that, the court subtracts out taxes (Social Security taxes and federal and state income taxes) and other required payments like health insurance payments or medical expenses on behalf of children.

Once the court determines what the non-custodial parent’s net income is, a flat percentage of that monthly amount goes to the parent with custody to help with the raising of the couple’s child. The percentages vary depending on how many children the parent will be supporting. For example, for one child, the percentage is 20; for two, it is 25 percent.

There are several areas that may complicate matters. If a parent is supporting children who live in different households (perhaps from prior marriages or relationships), amounts will be less than those for children living in the same household. Additionally, the above percentages do not apply to non-custodial parents who earn more than $6,000 a month. After that level, the court will order additional child support payment in special cases (for example, if a child has special needs). Similarly, child support is typically due until the child reaches the age of 18, but a court may extend that requirement for special cases.

Divorce settlements may affect everything that we have discussed in this post. In the case of divorcing couples who were high-income earners, the couple may want to provide for their children via an alternative arrangement. If the children will be attending expensive schools, including for their college education, spouses may want to agree to provide additional expenses for a longer period of time in order to ensure that their children do not suffer as a result of their parents’ divorce.

Did you employ an alternative child support arrangement for your divorce settlement? What sort of different agreements did you use?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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