All parents have a duty to provide for their children. Because many parents are divorced or otherwise not living together, the how of providing can be complicated. To simplify matters, Texas courts typically order noncustodial parents to make recurring child support payments to custodial parents.
As much as you may love your child, though, you may be worried about your financial ability to make payments. Here’s a look into the minimum child support in Texas that a court may order–
Child Support Obligations Are Income-Based
In Texas, the amount of child support that a party will be asked to pay is income-based. To be sure, a parent with one child will be responsible for allocating 20 percent of their monthly income to that child, 25 percent for two children, 30 percent for three children, and so on. These amounts are based on net income, not gross. This means that you’ll be responsible for the appropriate percentage based on what you take home each pay period.
Minimum Child Support in Texas if Unemployed
Many clients ask our lawyer about the minimum child support in the event that a person is unemployed. There is a common misconception that if you don’t work and do not have an income, you will not be liable for child support payments. However, this is not the case; all parents are responsible for providing for their children financially.
As found in Texas Family Code Section 154.068 – Wage and Salary Presumption, if a party is unemployed and/or there is an “absence of a party’s resources,” then the state will calculate child support on the presumption of a 40-hour week at minimum wage.
It is best to provide as much information to the court as possible to get an accurate idea of how much you owe in child support; failing to provide information may result in a court order based on the presumption described above.
As a note, intentional unemployment or unemployment can have consequences. In fact, if a court finds that you are intentionally not working or intentionally under-working in order to avoid support, then the court may base your child support order on your earning potential.
I Can’t Afford My Child Support Payments – What Now?
If you are a low income earner, then the amount you owe in child support will be relatively low. If you lose your job or sink to an even lower income bracket, it is critical that you contact the Office of the Attorney General immediately to learn more about how to modify a support order. Simply ceasing to make payments is not acceptable.
Our Family Law Attorney Can Help
At the Law Office of Ben Carrasco, we understand how stressful child support can be, especially if you’re struggling financially. For legal counsel and insight regarding how to navigate the child support process and secure a fair court order, call our experienced family law attorney today for a consultation. You can also get in touch by sending us a message directly.