Guideline Child Support in McAllen, Texas
This will give you a very basic, broad overview of child support guidelines in Texas.
Introduction to GuidelinesNot every case involves guideline child support. In fact, there are times that above guideline child support is appropriate. Each family unit is different, and each child comes before the court with different needs.
Child support is determined by calculating the net resources of the non-custodial parent and taking a percentage of those to pay child support. Once the monthly net resources of the obligor have been determined, the court shall presumptively apply the following percentage to situations in which the obligor’s monthly net resources are not greater than $8,550.00. Tex. Fam. Code §154.125(a). In Rodriguez v. Rodriguez, 860 S.W. 2d 414, 417 (Texas 1993) the Supreme Court of Texas stated, “We therefore conclude that ‘needs of the child’ includes more than the bare necessities of life but is not determined by the parents ability to pay or the lifestyle of the family. In determining the needs of the child, we direct courts to continue to follow the paramount guiding principle: the best interest of the child.”
Under Tex. Fam. Code §154.062(b) resources include:
(1) 100 percent of all wages and salary income and other compensation for personal services (including commissions, overtime pay, tips, and bonuses);
(2) interest, dividends, and royalty income;
(3) self-employment income;
(4) net rental income (defined as rent after deducting operating expenses and mortgage payments, but not including noncash items such as depreciation); and
(5) all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits other than non-service-connected disability pension benefits, as defined by 38 U.S.C. Section 101(17), unemployment benefits, disability and workers’ compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony
Additional Income Factorsnterestingly, there is also a category of income that is not earned but received by certain past allowances of deductions and received subsequently: this is called “deemed income.” The courts have determined that assets that are not currently producing income may be considered deemed income for the purpose of identifying monthly resources. It is prudent for the attorney to include all areas in which an obligor may receive income as permitted by the statute. The appellate court determined In Re J.D.D. that the obligor’s “duty to pay support was not limited to his ability to pay from current earnings but also extended to his ability to pay from any and all sources that might be available”
Hidden Income: The courts have the authority to include other forms of income actually received by a party to determine monthly resources. Attorney should not limit their search to W-2, 1099, Paycheck stubs and tax returns, and bank statements. Receipts of an advance or inheritance was found to be a resource for income. In Re A.M.P. 368 S.W. 3d 843, 849 (Tex. App.—Houston (14th –Dist. No pet.) The court of appeals stated that an “obligor’s duty to support his child is not simply derived from these earnings, but includes his ability to pay from all sources available to him.” The court affirmed that inheritance is a resource under Tex. Fam. Code §154.062(b) Financial Assistance Received By Obligor Monthly payments for support for college students given by family members have been considered by the courts synonymous to spousal support and thus income to be utilized in determining monthly resources.
Child Support received by Obligor. An overlooked source of income that must be included in calculating monthly resources of an obligor is the amount of child support he or she receives for the support of another child not before the court. d. Gifts Tex. Fam. Code §154.062 (b)(5) specifically includes as income gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony. The appellate court In Re A.M.P. considered the gifts that the obligor received from his family in calculating net resources.
Additional Compensation from a Business. In cases where a party owns a business, he or she may use the business income to pay personal debts, such as, car notes, utilities in the home, personal credit cards, school tuition, mortgage notes and property taxes. Payment for personal debt is compensation to the party. Payments for such debt should be included in determining monthly resources.
Child support can be complex and difficult to calculate. This is especially true with high net worth clients. Hiring an experienced Board Certified Family Law attorney can give you the best chance to be successful in your child support case. If you have a child support issue, call me today for a free consultation at 956-501-6565.