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How child support is calculated in Texas

When a Texas couple divorces, it is likely that one parent will be responsible for making child support payments to the other parent. Child support is a legal financial responsibility that the courts use as a way to help a single parent provide financial balance for their children. Additionally, child support holds the noncustodial parent legally and financially responsible for their child.

In Texas, one parent is typically responsible for providing a stable home for the child and thus has primary custody. The parent who does not have primary custody for the child will most likely be ordered to pay child support. Child support can be used to cover the child's medical expenses, school expenses and even their extracurricular activities.

In order to assist with determining the amount of child support a noncustodial parent may be required to pay, the court has set up guidelines that are presumed to be in the child's best interest. In most cases, the noncustodial parent will pay a certain percentage of their income as child support. For one child, for example, a noncustodial parent will be expected to pay 20 percent of their income. This percentage increases with each child. For two children, the parent would owe 25 percent of their income, while three children would be 30 percent of their income. These guidelines are not always set, as the courts do take certain factors into account.

Determining the amount of child support that a parent will be responsible for paying can be difficult even with the guidelines. A family law attorney may help the noncustodial parent provide the different financial documents that may result in a lower child support award. If the noncustodial parent's circumstances change after the initial order is finalized, the attorney may assist with child support modifications.

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