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Child Custody Lawyers in San Antonio

Modifications, Enforcement and Defense

Texas is a guidelines-oriented child support state. Generally, the courts use a formula to determine current and future child support obligations. This formula calculates the guideline child support amount as a percentage of an obligor’s net resources.

To calculate net resources you take total income minus:

  1. Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes paid by the obligor

  2. Federal income tax

  3. If the obligor lives in a state that collect state income tax, deduct those

  4. Union dues if any

  5. Health insurance payments or cash medical support paid by the obligor

The next element to determine child support is the total number of children the obligor has, and the total number of children PRESENTLY before the court on that specific case. (Example, if obligor has five children from three different mothers and the current case involves only one child, apply the formula for one of five children.)

Generally, if the court is dealing with one family alone, the calculations tend to be:

father and child
Number of Children % Available
1 20%
2 25%
3 30%
4 35%
5 40%
6 No Less Than 40%

People can often get worked up, demanding increases or decreases to current child support orders. However, before the current orders can be changed, the party asking to change the orders must show a “significant change in circumstances.”

The law assumes that after several years the situation is ready to be reviewed for a possible increase/decrease. However, you can come to court sooner if you can show a change in employment status, income, health, marriage status, age of child or changed needs of the child.

It’s important to know the intimate details of your situation to know how to best defend or attack these claims. You need to know the best approach to get the best results. For example, outside agreements made or said between the parties will often not be enforceable by the court or the other party. The only orders that you know are enforceable by contempt and the court and one entered in the court in writing. It is so important to make sure you get this done right the first time, because cleaning up these mistakes later can be difficult to impossible.

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