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Child Support Just Changed


Child Support law in Texas just changed, as of September 1, 2019. Whether the law hurts you or helps you depends upon which side of the fence you’re on.

If you’re getting child support, it never seems to be enough. If you’re paying, it always seems like too much. As of September 1, 2019, the Presumptive Maximum Child Support in Texas went up.

What does Presumptive Maximum mean? It’s the amount that the court will order unless there is a reason to vary from the presumptively correct amount if you “max out” the Child Support Table.

In short, if you’re paying and you make a lot of money, it’s the amount you will be ordered to pay. That is unless the court finds that you should pay “above-guideline support,” or you can convince the court that there is a reason you should pay “below-guideline support.”

Or, if you’re the one receiving child support, just reverse those statements. It’s the amount that you should be receiving if the person paying you child support has substantial resources – unless the presumptions are overcome.

Before September 1, the chart was maxed out when a person had “net resources” – roughly equivalent to after-tax dollars – of $8,550.00 per month. That meant that if the person paying was a wage earner and earned about $137,000.00 or more per year, child support was presumptively maxed out at $1,710.00 per month for one child, $2,137.50 for two children, and $2,565.00 for three children, if all of the children are from the same receiving parent.

Now, the maximum net resources from which the presumptive maximum is calculated has gone up to $9,200.00. That means that if the parent paying child support makes more than $137,000.00, there is an additional amount that will be presumptively ordered. The new maximum gross from which presumptive child support applies is approximately $147,400.00.

Under the new guidelines, the presumptive maximum child support for one child is $1,840.00, for two children $2,300.00, and for three children $2,760.00.

And remember, those amounts are in “after-tax” dollars, meaning that the person receiving the child support does not pay tax on that amount. Rather, the person paying has to make about $2,200.00 in order to pay the $1,840.00 for one child.

Also, keep in mind that in Texas, usually the person paying child support is ordered to also pay for health and dental insurance for the child or children and at least 50% of any uninsured medical expenses.

And one last thing: If you are currently under orders to pay child support, remember that child support orders can be modified by court order. And failure to follow child support orders can lead to jail time and the loss of various licenses.

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