What is Child Support?
Child support is covered by the Texas Family Code and is a payment that is made by a parent who is normally called the obligor to the parent who is normally called the obligee.
What is the Meaning of Obligor and Obligee?
The obligee is the parent who usually has the right to set the child’s primary residence (for the purpose of such things as where they will attend school), the child lives with them more than half the time, and they receive child support payments from the obligor. The other parent, called the obligor, gets visitation (also called parenting time) and pays child support.
How is Child Support Calculated?
There is a mathematical calculation for determining the child support amount set out in the Texas Family Code. It is based on gross income and the number of children from that marriage or relationship.
How Does this Child Support Calculation Work?
First, the parent paying child support receives certain deductions, which can include taxes, social security, Medicare, mandatory union dues, mandatory retirement contributions, health care expenses, etc. After those deductions, you end up with that party’s net income. Then the mathematical calculation is based on that net income number and the number of children from that marriage or relationship. For example, child support is 20% of an obligor’s net income for one child, 25% for the next child, 30% for the third child and so on. If there are children not of this marriage or relationship for whom the obligor must also pay child support, the percentages are adjusted to account for that.
The Big Questions When You are Raising Kids are: “Is that child support amount enough?” or “Is that child support amount too much?”
The answer to these questions is usually in the eye of the beholder.
Often there are expenses that go beyond the basic structure of child support.
The basic minimum amount an obligor can be ordered to pay is an amount that is given to the obligee. That amount is intended to be 100% of the obligor’s financial obligation towards their children. However, if you have children that are in sports, in the band or other extracurricular activities, it is difficult to live within that parameter.
In the Texas Family Courts, unless: 1) you have a special needs child, 2) you have a visitation schedule that is other than standard visitation, or, 3) your children are being raised in a very affluent environment, 85-90% of the time the child support calculation is going to be straight out of the Texas Family Code.
As an example, if mom has the right to set residency and receives statutory child support, and the mom wants to send the child to camp, it’s mom’s obligation to pay for camp. It is not the dad’s obligation. If the father is paying his full amount of child support established in the order, the father has no legal obligation to pay any more for anything else. He can choose to pay voluntarily, but he does not legally have to.
These are some common questions people have about child support. If you have more questions, please contact Law Office of David S. Bouschor II, P.C. at (940) 323-1300 today!