Child Support

Paying for Child Support Under Dallas Law

Dallas law provides for specific ways of determining the amount of monthly child support. The law as currently written determines the amount per a simple calculation.

  • Generally, child support is calculated by taking the amount of net monthly income of the person who must pay child support and multiplying this number by a set percentage shown in the law itself (20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, and so on).
  • To determine net monthly income, the Texas Family Code determines how many and how much the monthly deductions are to determine gross monthly net income. Obligors are entitled to deduct from their paycheck (1) FICA and (2) Social Security Taxes as well as (3) the cost of maintaining health insurance for the children before the monthly child support amount is calculated.
  • The amount of child support will be reduced if the obligor has other children that are not before the court and the person has a legal responsibility to pay their child support.
  • Generally, 401(k) contributions or any type of loan repayments deducted from the paycheck are not allowed to be deducted in determining net monthly income. 

What is Net Monthly Income for Purposes of Child Support Calculations?

The Court and our society impose an absolute duty to financially support one’s children. When special circumstances exist or there are gaps in employment, there isn’t a hard and fast rule as to how to calculate current child support.  Factors such as what county you reside in, what court you are in, and ultimately what judge will hear your case play a factor.

  1. Fluctuating Income

    The question of how to determine net monthly income is sometimes difficult to determine if the obligor (person who will be paying support) has been unemployed or changes jobs frequently. Generally, courts will average a person’s monthly income over a period of time if there has been a fluctuation in the amount of income a person receives.

  2. Unemployment

    If a person is unemployed at the time a child support order is established, the court will base child support based upon the federal minimum wage at 40 hours a week.

What Happens Under Dallas Law if You Do Not Pay Your Child Support?

In Texas, the penalties for not paying child support are severe. They includes civil penalties, attorney’s fees, judgment liens on a person’s house (even if they are re-married), liens on federal income tax refunds, and ultimately jail terms.  You can be jailed for not paying your child support.

What If You Can’t Afford Those Child Support Payments?

If you are paying child support and your income changes to the point that you can not afford to pay your monthly child support obligation you need to contact a lawyer to lower your child support. As described above it’s relatively simple to calculate current child support (unlike other states that have complex child support calculations) and Court’s regularly lower the amount due to reflect current earnings.

How Can You Collect Child Support From a Parent Who Is Not Paying? Call the Attorney General and Maybe Hire a Child Support Lawyer

If you are a single parent trying to get child support -- or trying to enforce an existing child support order that is being ignored by the person who is supposed to pay -- then contact a private lawyer.  If you can not afford a lawyer please contact the Texas Attorney General.

If you are married and separated, the Attorney General will not handle your divorce, but they will establish a child support order until you can afford to retain a lawyer to complete and consummate a divorce.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email for a paid initial legal consultation if you are involved in a child support dispute.  A child support attorney at the Law Office of Michael Granada understands how upsetting and difficult these situations can be, and we’re ready to help. 

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Law Office of Michael P. Granata Turley Law Center, 6440 North Central Expressway, Suite 450, Dallas, Texas 75206
Email: mpg@dallasdivorcelawyer.com - Phone: 214-977-9050