Going from one household to two during a divorce is difficult enough, but then managing how much is to be paid in spousal support and child support can further complicate matters. Where spousal support is paid by one spouse to another for a specific period of time to help the receiving spouse get back on their feet financially while maintaining the lifestyle they were accustomed to before the divorce, child support is for the children’s financial needs only.
Child support is paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent and the purpose is to fulfill the children’s financial obligations. This could include tuition fees, medical expenses and clothing costs or any other matters the parents decide upon. Where most decisions in a divorce that involve children are made in the kid’s best interests, child support is calculated based on a specific formula in Texas.
The first step courts take is to calculate the payor’s monthly net resources and then base child support on a percentage of it. So, if the couple has one child, the paying party will pay 20 percent of their monthly net resources and, if there are two children, 25 percent will be paid and so on. This percentage will decrease if the paying spouse already has other children for whom child support is being paid. So, for example, if there is one child from the current marriage and child support is already being paid for one other child, the paying spouse will pay 17.5 percent of their monthly net resources and 22.63 percent if there are two children now and two being supported previously.
While many couples may think the stated calculations are straightforward enough, the truth is that child support calculations often become complicated and, when emotions are running high, children often end up suffering. To ensure one is making decisions best for the children involved, it might be prudent to consult an experienced attorney.