Child Support Increase Effective Sept. 1, 2013

Child support in Texas is set using the Child Support Guidelines.  There is a cap on the monthly net resources that a Court may consider when calculating child support.  Presently, the Court may only consider the obligor’s first $7500.00 per month in net monthly resources.  However, effective September 1, 2013, the Court may only consider the first $8550.00 per month of the obligor’s net monthly resources.  This means that if an obligor has net monthly resources of $10,000.00 per month, the Court will only look at the first $8500.00 in determining child support. This change also means that the obligee has the right to petition for a child support modification.

Child Support in Texas

Texas Child Support Guidelines are presumed to be in the best interest of the child.  The percentages below apply to the obligor’s net monthly resources in calculating child support:

  • 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.

Based on an obligor’s net monthly resources of $7500.00 per month, child support is currently capped at $1500.00 for one child; $1875.00 for two children; $2250.00 for three children; $2520.00 for four children; $3000.00 for five children; and so on. While the increase in net monthly resources may only effect a small portion of the population, it definitely increases the amount of monthly child support.  After September 1, 2013, child support will be capped at:

  • $1710.00 for one child;
  • $2137.50 for two children;
  • $2565.00 for three children;
  • $2992.50 for four children;
  • $3420.00 for five children; so on.

However, this cap increase of monthly net resources will not automatically apply to current court orders to increase child support.  It will be applied to all new suits and modifications filed after September 1, 2013, and the Attorney General Child Support Review Orders, which occur every three years.

There are ways to deviate from the child support guidelines, but these instances are rare.  The percentages above may vary depending on whether the obligor has other minor children not before the court that they have a duty to support.  A Court will rarely, if ever, order child support below the guidelines.  A Court may order child support above guidelines in the instance where the child’s needs are proven to exceed guideline support.

In determining what constitutes an obligor’s net monthly resources, the Court will consider income from any source.  This may cause an obligor’s net monthly resources to reach, or exceed, the cap of $8550.00 per month.

So although the cap of net monthly resources is increasing from $7500.00 to $8550.00 per month, this effect will not be automatically applied to current court orders.  It will still be the responsibility of the obligee to file a modification.

Whether you feel that you may benefit or be adversely affected by these new guidelines, please call a Houston child support attorney to discuss your options.