Under Federal law, each State has established a mathematical formula for calculating child support. Child support in the State of Texas is calculated based on a percentage of the net income of the parent who does not currently live with the child. "Net income" is defined as gross income minus income tax withholding, Social Security taxes, health insurance premiums for the child, and union dues. The percentages relating to payments are specified in tables published by the State.
A recent trend in Texas Courts has involved how a court should address the issue of intentional underemployment or unemployment in ordering a parent to pay child support. In 2011, the Texas Supreme Court determined that in setting the amount of child support, a court may consider potential income if the parent ordered to pay child support is intentionally underemployed or unemployed without the necessity of determining that the purpose of the underemployment or unemployment was for the purpose of reducing the amount owed for child support. However, Texas Courts have found that speculation of income potential does not constitute evidence of potential income. Despite the importance of a parent's right to pursue his or her own happiness, Texas Courts will find that the best interest of the child, as in any case involving a child, is the paramount guiding principle.
If both parties are willing, a properly written agreed order regarding child support may be drafted and presented to the Court. If you are struggling with making ends meet for your child and you are unable to come to any suitable agreement with the other parent, you will need an attorney experienced in cases involving child support to best help you provide for your child's best interests.
Our firm has served the Dallas area for over 40 years, and attorney Jerry W. Melton is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We have the resources to answer all your questions concerning child support and the qualifications to present a strong case for you. Please fill out our form online or call 972-980-8000 today to schedule a free consultation.