Child Support in the State of Texas
John Mallios, Attorney at Law, Suggested Statutes for Review
There is a rebuttable presumption in the State of Texas that the statutory guidelines for support are in the child's best interest. Specific amounts are assigned for net income up to $6,000.00 per month. If the obligor's monthly net resources are $6,000 or less, the court shall presumptively apply the following schedule in rendering the child support order. This schedule is modified somewhat if the spouse is supporting children in another family.
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES BASED ON
THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
1 child 20% of Obligor's Net Resources 2 children 25% of Obligor's Net Resources 3 children 30% of Obligor's Net Resources 4 children 35% of Obligor's Net Resources 5 children 40% of Obligor's Net Resources 6+ children Not less than the amount for 5 children
If the obligor's net resources exceed $6,000 per month, the court shall presumptively apply the percentage guidelines to the first $6,000 of the obligor's net resources. Without further reference to the percentage recommended by these guidelines, the court may order additional amounts of child support as appropriate, depending on the income of the parties and the proven needs of the child.
The obligor cannot be required to pay more child support than the greater of the presumptive amount or the amount equal to 100 percent of the proven needs of the child. The proven needs of the child are based upon the following:
(1) the age and needs of the child; (2) the ability of the parents to contribute to the support of the child; (3) any financial resources available for the support of the child; (4) the amount of time of possession of and access to a child; (5) the amount of the obligee's net resources, including the earning potential of the obligee if the actual income of the obligee is significantly less than what the obligee could earn because the obligee is intentionally unemployed or underemployed and including an increase or decrease in the income of the obligee or income that may be attributed to the property and assets of the obligee; (6) child care expenses incurred by either party in order to maintain gainful employment; (7) whether either party has the managing conservatorship or actual physical custody of another child; (8) the amount of alimony or spousal maintenance actually and currently being paid or received by a party; (9) the expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school; (10) whether the obligor or obligee has an automobile, housing, or other benefits furnished by his or her employer, another person, or a business entity; (11) the amount of other deductions from the wage or salary income and from other compensation for personal services of the parties; (12) provision for health care insurance and payment of uninsured medical expenses; (13) special or extraordinary educational, health care, or other expenses of the parties or of the child; (14) the cost of travel in order to exercise possession of and access to a child; (15) positive or negative cash flow from any real and personal property and assets, including a business and investments; (16) debts or debt service assumed by either party; and (17) any other reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents.
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether a spouse's net income is over or under $6,000.00 per month. The income tax return may not be a reliable indicator of income. The Court is not required to recognize the income in the amount indicated on a spouse's income tax return.
Child support is determined from net available resources. Net available resources can include luxury items such as a hobby ranch, an expensive airplane, or other luxury or non-income producing assets. The Court has the authority to assign or 'deem' an income from these assets to be included in the net available resources from which child support may be calculated.
Courts, divorce attorneys, and parties to a divorce are all aware that an income shown an income tax return is very different from true 'net available resources' on which child support is calculated. One very clear example is depreciation expenses shown on income tax return are often expenses that have already been incurred. The court has the discretionary ability to disregard these expenses in calculating net income or net available resources from which child support will be determined.
John Mallios has extensive experience in working with Certified Public Accountants and business evaluation experts in determining the true net available resources on which child support should be calculated and in valuing the assets of a marital estate.
Statutorily the Court has the discretion to disregard income tax return expenses:
In its discretion, the court may exclude from self-employment income amounts allowable under federal income tax law as depreciation, tax credits, or any other business expenses shown by the evidence to be inappropriate in making the determination of income available for the purpose of calculating child support.
The Court is instructed by statute to determine the net resources of a spouse for child support liability as follows:
(b) Resources include:
(1) 100 percent of all wage 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 non-cash 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, unemployment benefits, disability and workers' compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony.
(c) Resources do not include:
(1) return of principal or capital;
(2) accounts receivable; or (3) benefits paid in accordance with aid for families with dependent children.
(d) The court shall deduct the following items from resources to determine the net resources available for child support:
(1) social security taxes; (2) federal income tax based on the tax rate for a single person claiming one personal exemption and the standard deduction; (3) state income tax; (4) union dues; and (5) expenses for health insurance coverage for the obligor's child.
John. C. Mallios works closely with accountants, forensic accountants, and business evaluators to determine the value of the net available resources for the calculation of child support and the value of property in determining the value of a marital estate. His years of experience have qualified him to understand business practices and their impact on the resources available to a family for child support. Contacting him prior to the initiation of a divorce may enable a party to plan and prepare for difficult decisions that may come later.
Memberships and Licenses
American Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
Texas Eastern District Court
Texas Northern District Court
Texas Southern District Court
Texas Western District Court
John Mallios has practiced law for 33+ years helping people in need of assistance due to injury, divorce, or criminal charges.
Mr. Mallios' persistence has resulted in large financial awards for those injured by accident, divorce, or otherwise.
John C. Mallios and Associates, P.C. maintains offices in Waxahachie, Texas. We serve all areas of North and Central Texas
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