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When going through a divorce or custody battle in Texas, one of the primary concerns many parents have relates to child support. It’s crucial to understand how child support is determined, as well as the circumstances under which it can be modified. In this blog post, we’ll break down the essentials of child support calculation in Texas and discuss potential modifications.

How Is Child Support Calculated in Texas?

In Texas, child support is primarily calculated using a set percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net resources. Here’s a brief breakdown of how it works:

  1. Determine Net Resources: This includes all types of income, such as wages, salary, commissions, overtime pay, rental income, and any other resources. Certain deductions, like federal income taxes, state income taxes, and social security taxes, are subtracted from the total to determine the net income.
  2. Apply the Percentage: Texas law has prescribed percentages based on the number of children for whom support is required:
    • 1 child: 20% of the non-custodial parent’s net resources
    • 2 children: 25%
    • 3 children: 30%
    • 4 children: 35%
    • 5+ children: 40%
    • If the non-custodial parent has children from other relationships for whom they’re also supporting, the percentages may slightly decrease.

It’s worth noting that these are general guidelines. The court can order child support amounts that differ from these guidelines if evidence shows that the needs of the child or children are either significantly higher or lower than what the guideline amounts would provide.

Can Child Support Be Modified in the Future?

Yes, child support can be modified under certain circumstances:

  1. Material and Substantial Change: Child support can be reviewed and possibly modified if either parent can show a material and substantial change in circumstances since the original order or the last modification. This could include significant changes in income, medical needs of the child, or changes in the child’s living circumstances.
  2. Three-Year Rule: If it’s been three or more years since the last order and the monthly amount of the child support order differs by either 20 percent or $100 from the amount that would be awarded according to child support guidelines, then a modification may be in order.
  3. Mutual Agreement: Both parents can also agree to modify the child support order. This agreement should be in writing, and the court must approve it.


Child support is an essential component of ensuring that children receive adequate care and resources following a divorce or separation. It’s based on a set of guidelines but can be adjusted to fit the specific needs of the child or the financial circumstances of the parents. If you believe that a modification might be necessary in your situation, or if you have further questions about how child support works in Texas, it’s wise to consult with a Texas family law attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your situation.

Dana Baker, Esq.

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