LAW OFFICE OF S.M. BUSH

13831 Northwest Freeway, Suite 211 HOUSTON, TEXAS 77040
832.237.3600 (PHONE) • 832.237.3619 (FAX)

SHANTRICE@LAWOFFICEOFSMBUSH.COM (EMAIL)

Paying for the Care of Children under Texas Law
Texas law provides for specific ways of determining the amount of monthly child support. The law as currently written determines the amount per a simple calculation.  Generally, child support is calculated by taking the amount of net monthly income of the person who must pay child support and multiplying this number by a set percentage shown in the law itself (20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children, and so on).
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To determine net monthly income, the Texas Family Code determines how many and how 
much the monthly deductions are to determine gross monthly net income. Obligors are entitled to deduct from their paycheck (1) FICA and (2) Social Security Taxes as well as (3) the cost of maintaining health insurance for the children before the monthly child support amount is calculated.
The amount of child support will be reduced if the obligor has other children that are not before the court and the person has a legal responsibility to pay their child support.

What Happens if You Do Not Pay Your Child Support?
In Texas, the penalties for not paying child support are severe. They includes civil penalties,
attorney’s fees, judgment liens on a person’s house (even if they are re-married), liens on 
federal income tax refunds, and ultimately jail terms.  You can be jailed for not paying your 
child support.

What if you can’t afford the child support payments?
If you are paying child support and your income changes to the point that you can not afford to pay your monthly child support obligation you need to contact a lawyer to lower your child 
support.

Can the Support Be Cut to a Lower Amount?  Can the Support Amount be increased?
Yes to both.  The request might be to increase or to decrease the amount of child support; 
therefore, either parent (the paying parent or the receiving parent) may be the party requesting the change.  However, their request has to be made with evidence of change. Being unhappy with the amount of child support isn’t enough – under the law, you must show specific facts before the judge will change the amount of money that must be paid each month.  

What must be shown to change child support?
Before a Child Support Order will be altered by a judge, there must be a change in 
circumstances to justify entering a new order -- and the change is 20% or more (or the support changes by $100 when calculating guideline child support), then the law will find this is sufficient change in circumstance for a new Child Support Order to be entered.  (A lesser 
amount – less than 20% -- might warrant a new order, but that would be up to the particular 
judge’s discretion.)  If a parent ordered to pay child support becomes unemployed, a 
modification order may be entered, as well.  
Another example of a change warranting a modification in child support would be a change in 
the needs of the child.  As children grow, the financial cost of raising them increases.  It is 
more expensive to parent a teenager than an infant.  So as the child ages, a modification in
child support may be granted. 


Law office Of S.m. Bush Family Law

9601 JONES ROAD, SUITE 222, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77065 
832.237.3600 (PHONE) • 832.237.3619 (FAX) 
SHANTRICE@LAWOFFICEOFSMBUSH.COM (EMAIL)

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