Parents all across Texas are unmarried or divorced. Many of these mothers and fathers pay or receive child support.
Despite how common child support orders are, there are numerous misconceptions about them. Parents who believe these myths can find themselves in upsetting positions, so it is crucial to clarify some fallacies regarding child support.
Myth: Child support is a punishment for non-custodial parents
Parents ordered to pay child support often feel it is a punishment. However, support is in place to ensure both parents are making contributions to the children’s well-being. The money is for their benefit. It is not to punish one parent or reward the other.
Myth: Only fathers pay child support
While there was a time when custody was typically given to mothers and fathers paid child support, the law does not require this. Per Texas child support laws, the courts can order any non-custodial parent to pay support, whether that is the father or mother. If parties share custody equally, the higher-earning party will typically pay support.
Myth: You can’t change child support orders
As long as a court order is in place, parents must comply with it. That said, parties can seek to modify an order. Knowing this is critical because parents’ circumstances and a child’s needs change over the years. If an order is no longer appropriate or fair, you can request that the courts recalculate support amounts and modify the order.
Myth: Parents can withhold visitation from a delinquent parent
If you fail to pay child support, there will be consequences. However, not being able to see your child during your scheduled parenting time is not one of those consequences. In other words, parents cannot keep a child from a parent, even if that parent has not paid support.
Believing these myths can mean losing money and time with your child, so parents should not make legal decisions or agreements about support without legal counsel. Getting accurate answers can help you protect your child and your rights as their parent.