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Child Support Calculations: A Complete Guide

  • Published: September 20, 2023
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Are you in the midst of a divorce or separation and wondering how child support amounts are determined in Houston, Texas? The process can seem complex and overwhelming, but fear not, as Daniel Ogbeide Law is here to demystify child support calculations for you.

As experts in family law, we’ve helped numerous clients navigate the intricate world of child support, and we’re here to guide you through it as well. If you find yourself needing professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Now, let’s dive into the complete guide to child support calculations.

Understanding Child Support: A Legal Obligation

Child support ensures that the child’s upbringing is financially supported by both parents equally, even if they are no longer together. It’s designed to provide for the child’s basic needs, including food, clothing, housing, education, and healthcare. Child support laws vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to understand how they work in Houston, Texas.

A) Child Support Calculations: The Basics

A kid’s hand on an elder’s hand

In Houston, child support calculations are primarily based on the “Income Shares Model.” This model takes into account the incomes of both parents to determine how much each should contribute to the child’s financial well-being.

If you require expert guidance on child support matters or are looking for a CPS lawyer in Houston, reach out to Daniel Ogbeide Law today!

Let’s break down the essential components of child support calculations:

1. Gross Monthly Income

Determining each parent’s gross monthly income is the first step in calculating child support. This includes commissions, bonuses, salary, wages, and any other source of income. Providing accurate information is essential, as underreporting or hiding income can have legal consequences.

2. Deductions

Once gross monthly income is established, certain deductions are made, including taxes, social security, union dues, and health insurance premiums. The resulting figure is known as the “adjusted gross income.”

3. Child Support Percentage

In Texas, child support is calculated as a percentage of the noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income. This percentage varies depending on the number of children:

  • 20% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 30% for three children
  • 35% for four children
  • 40% for five or more children

4. Additional Expenses

In addition to the basic child support percentage, the court may consider other factors, such as daycare costs, health insurance premiums, and educational expenses. These are typically divided between the parents based on their respective incomes.

If you need assistance with child support calculations or have questions about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced family court lawyers in Houston, Texas, are here to help you.

B) Child Custody and Child Support

A kid looking out of the window

Child custody arrangements play a significant role in child support calculations. The parent with primary custody (the custodial parent) is the one who receives child support payments, while the noncustodial parent pays. The amount paid by the noncustodial parent is determined by their income and the number of children, as mentioned earlier.

C) Adjusting Child Support Amounts

Child support calculations are not set in stone. They can be adjusted under certain circumstances. Here are a few situations where child support amounts might be modified:

1. Change in Income

If either parent experiences a substantial change in income, such as job loss or a significant increase in earnings, it may be possible to modify child support payments. However, these changes must be significant and ongoing to warrant a modification.

2. Change in Custody Arrangements

If the custody arrangement changes—for example, if the noncustodial parent gains primary custody or the child spends more time with them—it can impact child support calculations.

3. Changes in Child’s Needs

If the child’s needs change significantly, such as requiring additional medical care or educational expenses, child support may need to be adjusted to accommodate these changes.

4. Legal Recalculation

Child support orders can be recalculated every three years without needing a significant change in circumstances. This ensures that child support amounts stay up to date with the parents’ financial situations.

If you believe your child support arrangement needs adjustment due to changes in income, custody, or your child’s needs, reach out to us. Our CPS and child custody lawyers in Houston, Texas, can help you navigate the legal process.

D) Enforcing Child Support Orders

Ensuring that child support payments are made as ordered by the court can sometimes be challenging. If the noncustodial parent fails to make payments, enforcement actions may be necessary. These actions can include:

1. Wage Garnishment

Wage garnishment involves deducting child support payments directly from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck. This is a common method of enforcement and ensures regular and timely payments.

2. Contempt of Court

If a parent consistently refuses to pay child support, they may be held in contempt of court, which can result in fines or even jail time.

3. Liens and Seizures

In extreme cases, the court may place liens on the noncustodial parent’s property or seize their assets to cover unpaid child support.

4. License Suspension

Texas can suspend the noncustodial parent’s driver’s license or professional license for non-payment of child support.

Seek Legal Assistance When Needed

A family court lawyer in Houston, Texas

Navigating child support calculations can be complex, and it’s crucial to get it right to ensure your child’s best interests are met. At Daniel Ogbeide Law, we understand the intricacies of child support laws in Houston, Texas, and we’re here to assist you every step of the way.

Whether you need assistance with child support calculations, enforcement, or any other family law matter, contact us at Daniel Ogbeide Law today. Our dedicated team of family court lawyers, CPS attorneys, and child custody lawyers in Houston, Texas, is here to provide you with expert legal guidance and support. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation and protect your family’s future.

Understanding child support calculations is essential when you’re going through a divorce or separation. The process may seem

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