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What factors are considered when setting child support

If you are filing for legal separation, divorce or just considering it, there are many issues that you must negotiate. One of the most difficult may be that of child custody and child support. In most cases, child support is set by the court, and has little to no room for negotiation when it comes to adjusting the amount.

However, a court-appointed judge may consider several factors when setting a child support payment. These include the age and health of the child, as well as any special needs he or she may have. The judge may look at the parent’s ability to contribute to the support of the children, including their employment. It is also important to look at how much time the child spends with each parent. For example, less child support may be issued in a situation where the non-custodial parent spends more time with the child. Other expenses may be added to the child support payment, including the following:

  •          Child care expenses
  •          Medical costs, such as copays and deductibles
  •          Educational expenses
  •          Extracurricular activities

The support amount may be adjusted to account for health care insurance, as well as the time and cost of travel while transporting the child from one parent to the other.

Texas uses a percentage of the obligator’s income when setting child support. Rather than factor in both parents’ income when determining the amount, only the non-custodial parent’s income is considered. Texas uses a varying percentage model during this method.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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