The Texas Family Code contains guidelines for the computation of child support. The guidelines are specifically designed to apply to situations in which the obligor’s monthly net resources (income after taxes) are $7,500.00 or less. In such cases, the court presumptively applies the following schedule:
6 or more children
|20% of Obligor’s Net Resources
25% of Obligor’s Net Resources
30% of Obligor’s Net Resources
35% of Obligor’s Net Resources
40% of Obligor’s Net Resources
Not less than 40%
If the Obligor has children from another relationship(s), the percentages listed above may be reduced.
In addition to monthly child support payments, the obligor is required to provide health insurance for the children. If insurance is not available through their employment, but is available through the obligee’s employment, the obligor will be ordered to pay the premium costs. If insurance is not available through either partiey’s employment, the payor will be ordered to provide insurance coverage to the extent available and affordable.
Absent marriage or other acts which would emancipate the child, child support orders continue until the child reaches age 18. If the child is in high school at age 18, support continues until high school graduation. If the child is disabled, it may be possible to continue child support for an indefinite period. Texas law makes no provision for support during college, or the payment of college expenses. However, this can be done by a contract between the parties if an agreement can be reached on this issue.
MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT AND CONSERVATORSHIP
All orders concerning the children are modifiable in the future. Either parent can petition the Court to change conservatorship (child custody), periods of possession, or child support at any time until the child is emancipated. The burden of proof is different in each case, and sometimes is very difficult. You should not enter into an agreement based on the assumption that it can always be modified later. You also should not enter into an agreement that you will pay no or a minimal amount of child support based on the assumption that a request for full child support will not be made later.