This is a sample Child Support calculation.
Click here to use our Texas Child Support Calculator.
By using this calculator you expressly acknowledge that:
- No content is considered legal advice. Always consult an attorney.
- All content is based on Support Studies' views and interpretations of Texas child support laws and the Texas Child Support Guideline.
- The greatest care has been taken for accuracy relative to the default Texas Child Support Formula. However, your results as determined by the State of Texas may be different than the results presented here.
The bottom line monthly child support payment is $825.00
1) A base support payment of $675.00.
2) An additional $150.00 for insurance premiums.
Other possible adjustments are not included here. Some are discussed later.
Where does that number come from?
Adjusting For Children Outside the Case
With no children outside of this support case, monthly support payments would be $900.00
Texas makes adjustments to support payments when the non-custodial parent has children outside of the support case being calculated.
Payments are reduced by $75.00 because he has 1 child outside the case.
His financial contribution to base child rearing.
Texas sets his financial contribution to your child rearing expenses at $675.00 before medical insurance. This is 22.50% of his net income after adjusting for children outside the case.
Neither your time nor his time with the children are a part of the calculation. However, in your case this averages to a payment of $30.57 each of your 265 days with the children.
Your financial contribution to base child rearing.
Texas makes no mention of custodial spending on the children and neither custodial income nor non-custodial parenting time are inputs to the formula. However, the Texas Legal Code often refers to the 'duties of both parents with respect to the support of the child.'
What, then, is your responsibility to the financial costs of basic child rearing?
For the purpose of this analysis, we will apply the same rules to you as the Texas Legal Code applies to him. With net income of $2,850.00 applying the same rules to you results in a financial responsibility of $712.50, or 25.00% of your net income.
Using the Texas Child Support formula as a benchmark for your financial contribution to child rearing results in the following:
He contributes $675.00 to your child rearing expenditures.
You directly contribute $712.50 to child rearing expenditures.
Your total direct spending on child rearing comes to $1,387.50.
What about his child rearing expenditures?
The default Texas formula does not account for any childrearing expenditures he makes during his 100 days with the children.
By default, his monthly support payment before insurance would still be $675.00 whether the children spend 0 days or 100 with him.
Note that the State of Texas does allow for deviations due to shared parenting time, however these are at the discretion of the court.
How about food?
By comparison, the 2012 USDA estimated moderate-cost food menu for 2 children is $17.02. In other words, each day the children are with him, you save approximately $17.02 and he spends $17.02 on food for the children.
And after food?
Considering that the default Texas formula does not adjust payments based on his time with the children, after USDA estimated moderate-cost food expenditures he has-$17.02 remaining of his $0 credit.
After food that's -$8.51 per child each of 100 days.
Annually, food alone leaves him with -$1,702.00 for childrearing expenditures relative to the $0 by which the state adjusts his payments for his time with the children.
By default only he is responsible for Medical Insurance Premiums.
Because you pay $150.00 in insurance premiums for the children each month, he reimburses you for 100.00% of the cost.
The basic child support amount plus $150.00 comes to a monthly support payment of $825.00.
Note that as the Custodial Parent it may be in your best interest for you to pay for medical insurance directly. He will be required to pay you 100% of the cost, and his support payments may be unchanged. If he pays for the children's medical insurance directly, the cost will be subtracted from his net income before calculating support.
Texas law lists additional factors that may increase or decrease payments. Some of these include child care, non-custodial parenting time, post-secondary education of a child, the custodial parent's income, non-custodial business perks such as employer-provided transportation and more. See the Texas Child Support Glossar for a complete list of "additional factors" found under section 154.123 of the Texas Legal Code.
This calculator and analysis focuses on the Texas Child Support Guidelines default results. There is no default formula to handle these "additional factors" and they are not treated here.
What are the financial stakes?
In Texas, the presumption is that whoever is determined the custodial parent is attributed 100% of the base support obligation.
Whether the split in parenting time is 0 and 365 days or 180 - 185, from a purely budgetary perspective the default formula means a net difference of $1,387.50 base childrearing expenses is at stake.
If your spending is less than $1,387.50?*
It doesn't matter.
You are not accountable for your childrearing expenditures. He is still responsible for a base payment of $675.00 plus other contributions health insurance.
$1,387.50 is the net difference in base support between what he pays and what you would pay him were he the custodial parent.
What if his payments fall behind?
Unlike your spending, he is accountable for his payments. If he falls behind too far, he may go to jail.
He might go to jail even if you spend less than $1,387.50.
Arrears: Past-due Child Support
Texas charges him interest on arrears, or past-due child support payments.
In Texas, interest is calculated at a rate of 6% annually, we believe this is compounded. As a benchmark, 10-year US treasuries are running around 2% as of early 2013, and mortgage interest is running under 4%.
Tell me more.
View our commentary section.
Use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.
Support Studies comments on the math, financial and economic aspects of child support formulas and does not give legal advice.