Typically, when determining the amount of child support to be paid each month, a judge follows statutory guidelines based off a percentage of each parent’s net income. However, when one or both parents take home a significant amount of money each month, it does not make sense to follow the typical guidelines set forth by the Texas Family Code. In high-income cases, the courts will deviate from the statutory guidelines and come up with an amount that is fair and satisfactory to both parties.
Deviating from Texas’s Child Support Guidelines
According to Section 154.125 of the Texas Family Code, an obligor owes 20% of his or her net resources in child support for just one child. For two children, they owe 25%, for three children, 30%. The amount they owe increases in 5% increments for each additional child, and will cap off at not less than 40% for five or more children. To learn more about how net resources are computed, refer to Section 154.061.
If the courts were to follow these guidelines for every case that they heard, a non-custodial parent who made $75,000 a month would be obligated to pay $15,000 per month in child support for just one child. There are very few instances in which such a substantial amount of child support is necessary to raise a single child, so instead of adhering to the guidelines in this instance, the judge would look at the child’s needs and expenses, and compute a fair amount based off of that. However, the judge will take into consideration the standard of living to which the child has become accustomed, which could keep the monthly child support amount relatively high.
Additionally, the judge will take into consideration the amount of money that the recipient parent makes. If he or she also takes home a substantial amount of monetary resources each month, the judge will not feel compelled to follow the statutory guidelines set forth by the family code. In some instances, the custodial parent may make more than the non-custodial parent. If this is the case, the judge may deviate the child support amount downward for the non-custodial parent.
Finally, if the judge does deviate away from the statutory guidelines for determining child support in Dallas, they may make up for the lost amount by having the higher earning parent pay for medical expenses, private school tuition, daycare, etc.
Consult a Dallas/Ft. Worth Child Support Attorney
At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark and Associates, our Dallas child support lawyers have helped numerous higher earning clients get their monthly child support amounts lowered. If you or your former spouse brings home a substantial amount of money each month, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced child support lawyer to help show the judge why a deviation may be in order. To schedule a consultation today, give our offices a call at (469) 914-5564.