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Texas sets forth specific guidelines for determining child support in any case. Although there are many factors that come into play, generally a parent would pay 20% of net resources for one child and 25% for two children (see Child Support).
However, the Texas Family Law Code does set forth situations where deviating from those guidelines may be appropriate. A court may consider factors such as (1) the age and needs of the child, (2) the child’s education expenses beyond secondary school, (3) provisions for health insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses, (5) each party’s period of possession and access to the child, (6) travel costs for exercising possession of and access to the child, (7) child-care expenses that allow either party to maintain gainful employment, and many several others. The full list can be viewed at Texas Family Code 154.123.
The Texas Family Code also sets forth factors that cannot be considered such as (1) a parent’s history of the voluntary payments above the ordered amounts, (2) the sex parent or child, and (3) the marital status of the child’s parents.
In most situations the courts will apply the support guidelines, but it is important to be aware of these factors in case your situation warrants it. If one parent never visits the child and as a result the other parent incurs significant additional child care costs, deviating from the guidelines may be appropriate.
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