The Texas Family Code provides guidelines to assist courts in calculating child support that are based on a percentage of the parent’s net monthly resources. The statute sets forth what types of income are included and excluded from the parent’s net monthly resources. In many families, it is fairly straight-forward to determine what is included in the calculation. If a parent’s only income is from the wage or salary he or she earns from employment, it is relatively simple to identify the net monthly resources. Some families, however, have more complicated financial circumstances making it less clear what should be included.
In a recent case, a father appealed the inclusion of an annuity payment in his net monthly resources for purposes of the child support calculation. Prior to the marriage, the father settled a claim for a work-related accident with his employer. As a result of the settlement, the father receives $6,970 per month from an annuity. The payments will continue until either the the father’s death or June 1, 2044.
The couple had one child during the marriage. The mother filed for divorce less than a year after the couple was married. Although the couple reached agreement on some issues, they were unable to agree on child support and medical support. The trial court found the annuity payments were “resources” under Texas Family Code 154.062 and included them in the father’s resources when calculating the child and medical support payments.