Effective September 1, 2013, two changes to the child support statute came into effect.
The first change is a housekeeping amendment. Texas Family Code section 154.062(b)(5) includes both a catch–all provision to determine the amount of net resources an obligor receives and a list of income that is excluded from the definition of net resources. The Texas legislature amended section 154.062(b)(5) to add an exclusion for non–service–connected disability pension benefits. Section 154.062(b)(5) now reads:
(5) all other income actually being received, including severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits other than supplemental security income, United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits other than non-service-connected disability pension benefits, as defined by 38 U.S.C. Section 101(17), unemployment benefits, disability and workers' compensation benefits, interest income from notes regardless of the source, gifts and prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony.
The Texas Attorney General, not the Texas legislature, made the second change to the child support statute. Under Texas Family Code section 154.125, the Attorney General periodically recalculates the net resources cap to take inflation into account. The cap rose from $7,500 to $8,550.
The maximum amount of guideline child support a court may order an obligor to pay is 40% of net resources. Under the old cap, the maximum dollar amount of guideline child support equalled $3,000. Under the new cap, guideline child support maxes out at $3,420. Put another way, an obligor maxes out for guideline child support purposes at a monthly gross income of $11,828.81 for the employed and $12,580.47 for the self-employed.