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Maximum Child Support Payments in Texas

Does Texas child support ever max out? In fact, it does, when the amount of “net resources” exceeds $7,500 per month. The actual amount of support paid depends on which percentage is applied to net resources.

The amount of child support in Texas relies heavily upon how much in taxes an obligor (the person who pays child support) must pay. To calculate child support, we first add all the obligor’s income, then subtract the obligor’s social security taxes; federal income taxes based on single filing status, a single exemption and the standard deduction; plus the cost of health insurance for the children up to 9% of the amount of gross annual income. Further deductions are state income tax, but Texas has no state income tax. We also deduct any union dues.

After making these deductions, we have calculated “net resources.” Net resources are capped at $7,500. Without taking into account further deductions for health insurance or union dues, an employed person who makes $10,082.06 or more per month is maxed out. A self-employed person who makes $10,793.19 or more per month is maxed out.

The actual amount of child support paid is based on a percentage of net resources. So what are the percentages?

If the obligor has no other children outside this marriage or relationship that he is court-ordered to support, the percentages of net resources are:

  • 20% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 30% for three children
  • 35% for four children
  • 40% for five children or more

Tex. Fam. Code § 154.125.

So if the obligor is maxed out – in other words, his net resources are at the “capped” amount of $7,500 – and there are five children, the obligor will pay $3,000 per month.

If there are other children the obligor is court-ordered to support, the percentages change, depending on how many children there are outside the marriage or relationship. Texas Family Code section 154.129 contains a chart that shows percentages by the number of children before the court and otherwise. The lowest percentage is 13% for when there is one child before the court but there are seven children outside the marriage or relationship.

So what is the maximum child support payable? If there is a single family, then the maxed-out amount is $3,000 if there are five kids or more. The amount is less if the obligor is already paying court-ordered support for children of a prior relationship. But it is possible that the total amount of support ordered – that is, the amount already being paid for the kids of a prior relationship plus the amount to be paid in the current divorce or paternity proceeding – would exceed $3,000. An obligor doesn’t automatically get a deduction for support already being paid.

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