Above-Texas-Guidelines Child Support

In most divorces, child support is set according to a formula spelled out in the Texas Family Code. If a parent wants the judge to set the child support figure above the guideline number, there must be evidence that the extra money is directly related to the child's needs.

A "special needs" child — one who has unusual medical problems or other special needs that require greater-than-usual financial contributions from both parents — is the most common reason why child support is set above guideline support.

In high-asset cases in which the lifestyle of the child prior to the divorce was more costly than the Texas Family Code guideline will allow, the court can provide for child support above the guidelines. In these cases, the monthly net income of the person paying child support typically exceeds $7,500.

Exceeding Maximum Support Of $1,500 Per Month

In setting the child support amount, the judge may vary from the guideline figures if it is in the child's best interests to do so. The factors the judge may consider in making that decision include:

  • The age and needs of the child
  • The ability of each parent to financially support the child
  • The time periods during which each parent has possession of the child
  • The earning potential of the paying party
  • Child care expenses
  • Whether the parent with custody of the child has custody of another child
  • The amount of alimony or spousal maintenance being paid or received
  • Whether either party receives benefits that reduce that party's ongoing expenses
  • Unusual education or health care expenses, including private school, camps and lessons
  • The expenses for a son or daughter for education beyond secondary school
  • Travel expenses necessary to have time with the child

Of course, you and your child's other parent can agree to any amount of child support, even if the figure is above or below Texas guideline. If the child support amount you agree on is placed in writing and signed by a judge, it will become an order, and therefore, enforceable.

Speak With Our Dallas Family Lawyer

If you have questions about how to establish child support above Texas guidelines or modify an existing child support order, the experienced attorney at Lisa E. McKnight, P.C., can help. Call 214-528-4191 or use our online form to provide more information.