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 are $6,000.00 or less. In such
cases, the court presumptively applies the following schedule:
1 child - 20% of Obligor's Net Resources
2 children - 25% of Obligor's Net Resources
3 children - 30% of Obligor's Net Resources
4 children - 35% of Obligor's Net Resources
5 children - 40% of Obligor's Net Resources
6 or more children - Not less than 40%
If the obligor's net resources exceed $6,000.00 per month, the Court shall
presumptively apply the above percentages to the first $6,000.00 of net
resources. Without further reference to the percentage, the court may order
additional amounts of child support. The court may not order the obligor to
pay more child support than the presumptive amount (as calculated by
multiplying the above applicable percentage times $6,000.00) or an amount
equal to 100% of the proven needs of the child, whichever is greater.
In addition to monthly child support payments, the payor is required to
maintain the children on the payor's employment health insurance policy. If
insurance is not available through the payor's employment, but is available
through the payee's employment, the payor will be ordered to pay the
premium costs. If insurance is not available through either parties'
employment, the payor will be ordered to provide insurance coverage to the
extent available and affordable. Additionally, the Court usually makes orders
regarding the payment of deductibles and other uninsured expenses.
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.