blog2-img“Is my child support going up?” is a question I’ve heard frequently since the legislative changes increased Texas child support “caps,” effective September 1, 2013.  Whether or not this will have any impact on the support you receive or pay depends upon your unique circumstances.

Child support is generally calculated as a percentage of the paying parent’s monthly net resources: 20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, 35% for four children, 40% for five children, and “not less than 40% for six children or more.” Child support based on these percentages is often called “guideline child support.”  Guideline child support is the default in Texas, although as with almost anything in the law, there are exceptions.

One exception is when the parent’s monthly net resources exceed $7,500.00.  In that instance, guideline support is “capped”; the guideline percentages are currently not applied to income exceeding $7,500.

Now, here’s the change.  On September 1, 2013, the cap will increase.  Now, the guideline percentages will be applied to income up to $8,550.00 per month.

The increase is not automatic or retroactive.  If a parent’s child support should increase based on the new caps, his or her child support order will need to be modified.

Also, the new cap will not apply to every situation, even if the parent paying child support has monthly net resources exceeding $7,500 per month.  Texas law allows courts to order child support above the cap based on the proven needs of the child or children.  Parties can also agree to child support below the guideline.  Whether the new cap will apply to your situation depends upon the specific terms of your current court order and your current net resources.

Whether your child support might be impacted by the new caps, you are going through a divorce with children, or your child support might be affected by some other change in your or your child’s life, BFS Law Group is happy to have a confidential meeting with you to discuss your situation and options.

Disclaimer:  This information should not be construed as legal advice.  Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney.  This blog is for informative purposes only.

This post was written by
Claire E. James, Associate.

 

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