Texas calculates child support according to the child support guidelines. These guidelines base child support on percentages of "net resources" which is analogous to take-home pay. A court may deviate from the child support guidelines but only if there is evidence in the record to support the deviation.
In In re Godfrey, the trial court ordered the wife to pay child support of $554.32 per month for two children based on "about $1,200" in earnings. But guideline child support for two children equals 25% of net resources. Even if the $1,200 represented take-home pay, the amount of child support should have equaled no more than $300 per month.
Other than testifying that the wife made "about $1,200" per month, the husband said he wanted child support of $554.32 per month. There was no other evidence of income or earnings.
The pro se wife did not testify at the trial because she "couldn't think." She did file a motion for rehearing at which she testified that her normal pay equaled about $280 per week. The trial court denied the motion for rehearing.
The court of appeals noted that at $1,200 per month, monthly child support for two children would equal substantially less than $554.32. Even if the court attributed the minimum wage to the wife and presumed a 40-hour workweek, child support for two children would equal even less. Finding no other evidence to support any deviation from the child support guidelines, the court of appeals reversed the child support award.
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