A parent paying support under multiple child support orders in Texas may find the calculation of the child support amount confusing and contradictory.
However, by understanding how the child support guidelines, the long standing policy in Texas on child support calculation, work, you may find you qualify for a change, reduction, or increase in the child support you are paying or receiving.
In Texas, it is presumed that a parent should be ordered to pay child support according to the following “child support guidelines” which in simple terms is: [monthly net income] X % = Child Support Amount
BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
1 child 20% of Obligor’s Net $
2 children 25% of Obligor’s Net $
3 children 30% of Obligor’s Net $
4 children 35% of Obligor’s Net $
5 children 40% of Obligor’s Net $
6+ children Not less than the amount for 5 children
So if your [monthly net income] is $1600 and you have 1 child, then your child support amount would be calculated: 1600 x 20% = $320 per month.
Multiple Family Adjusted Guidelines
The caveat is that when a parent has multiple children with different partners, the child support amount will still be calculated on the child support guidelines but the obligor (the parent paying child support) is given a deduction on the percentage, based upon how many children he is financially obligated to support that are not in front of the Court. This deduced percentages are contained in the multiple family adjusted guidelines, which is as follows:
MULTIPLE FAMILY ADJUSTED GUIDELINES
(% OF NET RESOURCES)
Number of children before the court
For example, if Harry has 3 children but 2 children are with Sophia and 1 child is with Amber. Then Harry would be paying child support under 2 orders for his 3 children. The multiple child support orders can be issued in the same or different county (a SAPCR or custody suit is filed where the child resides).
Child Support Order #1 – for Sophia’s Children
Harry’s child support would be calculated as follows: [monthly net income] x 22.5%= CS amount
Child Support Order #2 – for Amber’s Child
Harry’s child support would be calculated as follows: [monthly net income] x 16%= CS amount
Thus Harry would be paying 38.5% of his net monthly income towards child support. If all 3 of Harry’s children were with Sophia, then child support amount would be calculated using the child support guidelines: [monthly net income] x 30%= CS amount. Yes, you are paying more when you have multiple child support orders.
Please note that you must disclose to your attorney or a representative from the Office of the Attorney General that you have other children, under the age of 18 when calculating child support to get the deduction. In situations where you have a baby after the Order was issued, you can request to lower the amount.
If you are paying more than 50% of your income to child support, please note that though your wages are being garnished, you may still owe more child support. Finally, please note that although the guidelines are presumed to be in the best interest of the child, the Court has discretion to Order a child support that varies from the guidelines amount when considering “additional factors” according to the Texas Family Code. For additional clarification or if you are considering a modification or variation from the child support guidelines, please contact Sanchez & Flores, Attorneys at Law, LLC to schedule your consultation today 512-212-7851.