Written by attorney Kelly West Decker

Child Support Caps for the Wealthy

For those who's net monthly resources are $7,500 or more, you may be able to enjoy a cap on child support. The term "net resources" is a complicated legal term that generally amounts to all resources less certain deductions such as federal taxes and social security but not 401k contributions.

The $7,500 is the presumptive amount of net resources to which the Texas statutory guidelines for child support apply. This amount was set in 2007 and is scheduled to be reset in 2013 by the Attorney General's Office.

The cap means the obligor's child support will be based upon the first $7,500 of monthly net resources. A simplified example is if you have one child living in one household, child support will be 20% of the first $7,500 in monthly net resources. In other words, if the obligor earns a million dollars a year, child support would not be 20% of a million dollars but rather 20% of the first $7,500.

Millionaires and billionaires, don't get too excited. The cap is not an absolute. There is an exception if the child's needs exceed the amount under the cap which is only the presumptive amount. Being presumptive in nature means it can be overcome with evidence that the child has needs for a nanny, travel, tutor, bodyguard and so on. The court may order additional child support over the presumptive amount if it would be in the best interest of the child. The best interests of the child may not be only served with food and shelter. In any case, determining the best interest of the child is a highly subjective standard and can be difficult to prove and disprove.

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