The maximum amount of child support payable in Texas went up in 2019. This article describes the basics of calculating child support and explains why and how much the cap on child support increased in 2019.
The person responsible for paying child support is referred to as the "Obligor". The first step in calculating child support is figuring out the Obligor's "net monthly resources". Net resources is all income from all sources minus the following: return of principal or capital; accounts receivable; benefits paid under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or other federal public assistance programs; payments for care of a foster child; social security taxes; federal income tax assuming one person claiming a personal exemption and standard deduction; union dues; cost of medical insurance or medical support for the child(ren) before the court; and non-discretionary retirement plan contributions if the Obligor doesn't pay social security taxes.
The Obligor pays a percentage of his net monthly resources as child support. The amount of the percentage depends on the number of children before the court. For example, if the Obligor has to pay support for one child, then the Obligor's child support amount will be 20% of the Obligor's net monthly resources. It's 25% for two children and 30% for three children.
Texas has a cap on the amount of net monthly resources that will be considered when calculating child support. Prior to September 1, 2019, this cap was $8,550.00. This meant that a person who had more than $8,550.00 in net monthly resources would only be obligated to pay as much as someone who had net monthly resources of $8,550.00. However, this cap went up to $9,200.00 on September 1, 2019. Since child support is calculated based on percentages of net monthly resources, this increase in the cap had the effect of increasing the potential maximum amount of child support payable for everyone. By way of example, this increase means the maximum amount of child support for one child went up from $1,710.00 (20% of $8,550.00) to $1,840.00 (20% of $9,200.00) and for two children from $2,137.50 (25% of $8,550.00) to $2,300.00 (25% of $9,200.00).
The cap increased because every six years the Texas legislature adjusts the cap to take into account inflation. The prior adjustment was in 2013, and the most recent adjustment was in 2019.
If you are a high earner under a child support order dated prior to September 1, 2019 and have monthly net resources above the old cap of $8,550.00, this 2019 increase in the cap could mean an increase in your child support obligation should you be subject to a modification suit.