How do Texas courts determine the amount of child support owed?
In Texas, as in most other states, several factors are considered when determining how much money is required as payment for child support. Among the factors taken into consideration are:
· the age and needs of the child;
· the ability of both parents to contribute to the support of their child;
· the amount of time each parent is in possession of or has access to the child;
· any childcare expenses incurred due to the employment of one or both parents;
· the amount of alimony or spousal maintenance being paid from one parent to the other; and
· the amount of the payer's net resources.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the factors considered when determining child support payments. The Texas Family Code sums up the court's charge by stating that “any reason consistent with the best interest of the child, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parents” are to be observed.
While the court renders the final decision about child support, it does not necessarily have to make the “who pays” and “how much” determination. In an effort to promote the amicable settlement of disputes such as these, Texas law has provided a statute that allows the parties to develop a written agreement provisioning support for the child in question. If the court finds that the agreement is indeed in the child's best interest, it will render judgment in accordance with the agreement.