How Child Support is Calculated in Texas

Child support is a crucial aspect of family law, ensuring that children receive the financial support they need to thrive, even after their parents’ separation or divorce. In Texas, child support calculations follow specific guidelines outlined in the state’s Family Code. Understanding how child support is calculated can provide clarity and transparency for parents navigating this aspect of their family law proceedings. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key factors and formulas used to determine child support payments in Texas.

Income Considerations

In Texas, child support calculations primarily hinge on the income of the non-custodial parent, known as the obligor. Income includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of earnings, as well as certain deductions such as taxes and union dues. The court may also consider additional factors, such as overtime pay, bonuses, and income from self-employment or investments.

Percentage of Income Model

Texas employs a percentage of income model to calculate child support payments. Under this model, the obligor’s child support obligation is based on a percentage of their net income, with the percentage increasing incrementally based on the number of children requiring support.

For example, as of 2022, the standard child support percentages are:

  • 20% of the obligor’s net income for one child.
  • 25% for two children.
  • 30% for three children.
  • 35% for four children.
  • 40% for five or more children.

Adjustments and Deviations

While the percentage of income model provides a straightforward framework for calculating child support, courts may also consider additional factors that could warrant adjustments or deviations from the standard guidelines.

These factors may include:

  • Childcare expenses.
  • Health insurance premiums.
  • Extraordinary medical expenses.
  • Educational expenses.
  • Travel expenses for visitation.

Courts have discretion to deviate from the standard guidelines if they determine that doing so is in the best interests of the child.

Shared Custody Arrangements

In cases where parents share custody of their children, the court may adjust the child support calculation to account for the amount of time each parent spends with the child. This arrangement, known as the “offset method,” considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time the child spends with each parent to determine an appropriate child support obligation.

Legal Assistance

Navigating the complexities of child support calculations in Texas can be daunting, especially for parents unfamiliar with family law proceedings. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process. An attorney can help parents understand their rights and obligations, ensure accurate financial disclosures, and advocate for fair child support arrangements that prioritize the best interests of the child.


Child support calculations in Texas are based on a percentage of the obligor’s net income, with adjustments made for factors such as shared custody arrangements and additional expenses. By understanding the guidelines and seeking legal guidance when needed, parents can navigate child support proceedings with confidence and ensure that their children’s financial needs are met.