All US courts utilize a calculator to determine child support. These calculations vary by state, but every state uses one of three models: the income shares model, the percentage of income model, or the Melson formula model. Texas courts, like those in many states, are unique in their child support determinations.
The Texas Model
Texas is one of ten states that uses the percentage of income model. This model sets support as a percentage of only the noncustodial parent’s income, and thus, the custodial parent’s income is not considered. How much money the custodial parent makes is not necessarily considered by the judge making the order, and it is important to find a good family law attorney to make sure that both parties find a fair solution, and more importantly, ensure that the child or children receive the proper care they deserve. The noncustodial parent is defined as the parent who spends the least amount of time with the child(ren).
The percentage of income model also has two variations: the flat percentage model and the varying percentage model. Texas courts use the varying percentage model. They determine child support payments by considering the noncustodial parent’s net monthly income multiplied by a percentage that is determined by number of children the paying parent is supporting. Noncustodial parents are also required to pay for their child(ren)’s health insurance.
Options for calculating child support in 50/50 custody situations are that parents can agree to an amount of child support or offset each parent’s guideline child support obligation, or, if there is alimony involved, parents can re-calculate child support based on the impact alimony has on each parent’s income.
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