Divorcing with kids: Know the limits on child support

If you're divorcing and have children, then you know that the potential for paying child support is there. If you know you'll be the one paying, it can be daunting, to say the least. You don't want to pay too much, but you also want to guarantee that your children are getting what they need.

Depending on the number of children you have, support needs can add up quickly. Fortunately, there is a cap on payments in Texas. For example, if you have just one child, you'll pay 20 percent of your monthly net resources toward their care. For four children, the amount you'd pay is 35 percent. However, when you have six or more children, you could max out at 40 percent.

How much is the most you'll have to pay for support in Texas?

There is not a maximum, exactly, when it comes to what you'll pay. However, there is a maximum amount of net resources from which support can be calculated. In September 2013, the amount was changed to $8,850 per month, which means that this is the maximum that will be used to calculate how much you'll pay in child support toward any number of children.

As an example, if you have one child and an income of $8,850 monthly, you'll pay around $1,770 in support every month for your child. If you have over six children, you'd pay a maximum of 40 percent, which equates to $3,540. In most cases, that would be the most you'd ever be expected to pay. However, a judge does have a right to look at individual cases and make determinations based on the factors involved.

How can you determine how much you'll pay?

You'll have to wait for a judge to determine the exact amount, but you can also opt to use the monthly child support calculator to fill in your information to get an idea of what you'll end up paying. This is on the Attorney General of Texas's website, making it easy to access along with other information about child support payments in the state.

Can you get your support modified if it's too expensive?

If your support obligation is 20 percent higher (or $100 more or less) than the current amount you pay, you may be able to seek a modification, so that you can pay what you owe more accurately. Your attorney can help you file this request.

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