Fair Child Support Payments
Texas has established child support guidelines that dictate the amount of child support that will be paid in most cases. Essentially, the amount of child support will be a percentage of the paying parent’s net income. At Weinman & Associates, P.C. in Austin, we take care to see that the guidelines are followed correctly and that deviations are pursued when appropriate.
Getting The Numbers Right
We have more than 20 years of experience in the area of family law. Our lawyers know that fair child support payments require getting the numbers right. First we look at net income.
For the purposes of child support, net income is calculated by taking the gross income and subtracting Social Security taxes, state and federal income tax, union dues and health insurance premiums for the children. It is important to note that gross income is not just based on the salary or hourly wage. It also includes things like commissions and bonuses, overtime pay, investment income, royalty income, rental income and more. We make certain that no income is overlooked when the numbers are being crunched. That way we can be confident that the child support payment amount will be fair.
The paying parent will pay 20 percent of his or her net income in child support for one child. The percentage increases for each additional child.
Deviations From The Guidelines
In most cases, following the guidelines makes sense. However, there are situations in which it is in the child’s best interest to deviate from the guidelines.
The guidelines state that the calculation of child support will be based on a maximum of $8,550 per month in net earnings. Paying parents who make more than that only need to pay based on that maximum amount. However, the law does state that the cap can be discarded if the child has exceptional needs. In this case, exceptional needs may include everything from private school costs to after-school activities. The goal is to ensure that funds are available for the child to continue with the same activities and lifestyle.
Deviation from the guidelines may also be required if the child is disabled and has medical expenses that would not be covered by the standard amount of child support.