Texas Divorce FAQ’s – Child Support

This information is from Robert J. Matlock, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Texas. Click here to visit his web site.

How does child support get figured?

There are “guidelines” for setting child support.  The figure is calculated as a percentage of the paying party’s earnings.



Number of children before the court
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Percent of Net Resources 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 40.00 40.00




Number of children before the court
Number of other children for whom the obligor has a duty of support 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
0 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 40.00 40.00


1 17.50 22.50 27.38 32.20 37.33 37.71 38.00
2 16.00 20.63 25.20 30.33 35.43 36.00 36.44
3 14.75 19.00 24.00 29.00 34.00 34.67 35.20
4 13.60 18.33 23.14 28.00 32.89 33.60 34.18
5 13.33 17.86 22.50 2722 32.00 32.73 33.33
6 13.14 17.50 22.00 26.60 31.27 32.00 32.62
7 13.00 17.22 21.60 26.09 30.67 31.38 32.00

Net Resources:

All wages, salary, bonus payments, interest & dividend income, rental income &

income from any other sources, minus

  1. Social security taxes
  2. Federal income taxes
  3. Union dues
  4. Health insurance premiums for the child/children.

The Net Resource figure is to be calculated as a monthly figure.

Application Of Guideline Percentages: The Net Resource figure (up to $6,000.00) will be multiplied by the guideline percentage.  The needs of the child/children justify doing so.

Court can set the child support above the guideline number if the needs of the child/children justify doing so.

How do you change child support?

By filing a modification suit in the court that granted the divorce.  The grounds for changing the existing order are that circumstances have changed since the date of the last order and a different order is appropriate now.  Generally, the change in circumstances is based upon an increase in earnings by the paying party or an increase in expenses for the children or both.

Does child support get deducted from the payor’s paycheck? How?

Yes, through a withholding order.  The Decree of Divorce will state what amount of child support is to be paid and order the payor to deliver that amount to the other parent.  The withholding order is addressed to any person or business that employs the payor.  The order states the amount of support the payor is to pay and orders the employer to withhold up to 50% of the payor’s paycheck for that purpose.

Delivery of the withholding order to the employer creates a duty to immediately begin deducting the child support from the payor’s paychecks.  If the employer fails to withhold the child support, the employer becomes liable for payment of it.

When will the court allow a deviation from the guidelines?

When the needs of the child require it.  Some common examples are: a) a child with a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment or b) a child with learning disabilities who needs tutoring or special schools.

Other issues in Texas: