Texas Child Support Calculator
- Online child support calculator tool
- Factors that determine child support payments
- Child support and parenting examples
- Can you modify child support payments?
More than 75% of Texas babies live in two-parent households. When parents divorce, one partner typically gains physical custody and creates a new home for the children. The other supports the shared children through child support payments.
Child support in Texas is relatively straightforward. The more children you have and the more money you make, the larger your payments will be.
But Texas courts can consider other factors, raising or lowering your payment amounts accordingly. Here’s what you need to know.
Online Texas child support calculator tool
Texas courts define child support amounts, but payments are enforced via the Attorney General. That organization developed an online calculator to demonstrate how much one party might owe the other after divorce.
The tool uses the following factors relating to the person making payments:
- Employment type: Are you self-employed, or do you work for someone else?
- Income frequency: How often are you paid?
- Payment amounts: How much do you make in each payment period?
- Deductions: Are you providing health or dental insurance for children, and if so, how much do you pay each month? How much are your required monthly union dues? How much do you pay each month in state income tax?
- Children: How many children are included in your payment amounts? How many other children are you legally required to support?
Enter this data, and you're given a projected monthly child support obligation.
Accuracy is critical, especially when you're entering information about your income. Per Texas laws, you're required to disclose all types of income when discussing your child support obligations, including the following:
- Self-employment income
- Unemployment or workers’ compensation
- Social Security
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Pension plans
Leaving one of these income sources out of the online tool could give you an inaccurate estimate of how much you’d pay each month. Gather all the needed information to get the most accurate result.
What factors determine child support payments in Texas?
Judges look to Texas law when determining how much child support should be paid from one parent to another. Those rules are straightforward.
A Texas court could look at just two factors when deciding how much you must pay, including the following:
- Your income
- How many children are involved
Texas guidelines set child support payments at a percentage of income, and the cost increases with each child included in the action. With each child, your percentage of income goes to the other parent in a formula that looks like this:
- One child: 20%
- Two children: 25%
- Three children: 30%
- Four children: 35%
- Five children: 40%
- Six or more children: At least 40%
If your monthly income is not larger than $1,000, the guidelines are lowered by 5%. But otherwise, these rules apply.
Courts can move away from these strict rules and assess other factors that apply just to your family, such as the following:
- The ages of your children
- The specific needs of your child, such as a learning or physical disability
- The division of parenting time
But some judges don’t consider these issues at all, and they stick closely to the formulas supported by Texas law. There will be variations in the outcome according to particular judges.
Child support and parenting examples
How much can a family expect to pay in child support after a Texas divorce? Let's consider a few examples.
If you're self-employed with a monthly income of $5,000 and no deductions supporting one child, your monthly payments could be about $778. But if you spend $200 monthly on the child's health and dental insurance, your costs go down to $738.
If you're an employee with a monthly income of $5,000 with two children in this action and another to support, your child support payments are $936 monthly. If you pay $400 monthly for children's health and dental insurance, your costs go down to $846.
Can you modify child support payments in Texas?
The person who must pay child support can ask the courts to reduce the payments in just two situations.
Those two situations include the following:
- Change in circumstances: If you lose your job, face legal action, become too ill to work, or struggle with some other issue that makes payments tough, you can ask for relief.
- Passage of time: If your court orders were written three or more years ago, and the amount you'd pay now differs by 20% or $100, you can ask for relief.
In order to modify payment, you need to file a modification case in the same Texas county where the original order was completed. Head to a courthouse in that area, fill out forms and schedule a hearing for a judge to consider your case.
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ReferencesThe State of Texas Babies. (2022). State of Babies.
Monthly Child Support Calculator. Attorney General of Texas.
Child Support. (January 2023). Texas Law Help.
Family Code, Title 5, Subtitle B, Chapter 154, Subchapter A. (September 2021). State of Texas.
Changing a Child Support Order. (January 2023). Texas Law Help.
I Need to Change a Custody, Visitation, or Support Order (Modification). (January 2023). Texas Law Help.