Saturday, July 07, 2007

Texas Child Support Amount Increased By New Law

The Texas Family Code sets a cap on amount of income the courts can base child support amounts on. For many years, the cap was set at $6,000 of the child support payer's net income. Beyond this amount, the person seeking child support had to prove that the child or children had special needs to justify a higher support amount.
Governor Perry recently signed House Bill 448 into law and raised the cap on net resources subject to the child support formula from $6,000 of monthly net resources to $7,500 of monthly net resources.
The act also ensures that increases for inflation will occur automatically. The law provides that the maximum dollar amount will be adjusted for inflation every six years. The Title IV-D agency shall compute the adjusted amount based on the percentage change during the preceding six-year period in the consumer price index, as rounded to the nearest $50 increment, and publish the adjusted amount in the Texas Register before September 1 of the year in which the adjustment takes effect.

The act also includes language with regard to taking expenses for health insurance coverage for the obligor's child into account in determining child support. If the obligor has more than one child covered under the same health insurance coverage, the court is directed to divide the total cost to the obligor for the insurance by the total number of minor dependents, including the child, covered under the plan.