Interviewer: How does child support work? Let’s say the custody is 50/50. Does that mean the child support is less than it would be?
Gary: Well in the past if you had a 50/50, it would be a wash. There would be no child support. Now suppose there is a true 50/50 relationship; not the 49/51% relationship that we have been talking about. In this true 50/50, you have that type of a relationship where both parents spend equal time with the children.
Then, they will calculate child support based upon both parents’ incomes. They compare the two incomes and subtract the lower income from the higher income. That differential is going to be paid to the parent with the lower income, by the parent with the higher income.
So the courts are going to make basically both parents pay child support. They are going to cancel out; except one of them will be higher than the other and that person will have to write a check for the difference. That is a fair way because the children are going to benefit from both parents’ incomes.
Now suppose you have a 51/49%, or any other situation where it just scales the other side. I will tell you this: You are going to pay full child support. Full child support is based upon a percentage of your income and how many children you have before the court, how many children you have in total. It is a process.
But typically for one kid in Texas, it is 20% of your take home. Two children is 25% of your take home, and three children is 30%. It tops out at $1,500 for total child support for one child; and $1,875 for two children. So that is what you can expect maximum child support to be.