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Affording child support payments

Most divorced parents living in Texas are committed to supporting their children. Unfortunately, circumstances can arise that make it difficult to afford child support payments. Because federal and state laws treat a failure to make payments very seriously, it's important for noncustodial parents who are financially strapped to understand their options.

Why do child support payment amounts vary from state to state?

When Texas parents split up, an aspect of the breakup includes negotiating child support. While there are federal guidelines for establishing the amount of support, each state is allowed to set up its own rules. In Texas, for example, courts do not take into account the custodial parent's income, so theoretically, this can lead to payments that are $100 higher than in other states.

How the state can enforce a child support order

Single parents in Texas may find themselves struggling financially and unable to make ends meet. This is especially true when the child's other parent fails to follow through on child support obligations. Despite calls and requests, many parents find themselves frustrated in attempting to obtain payment to cover basic costs. These parents may turn to the state Office of the Attorney General to enforce a child support order against a non-paying parent.

Withholding visitation could end up punishing the child

It can be difficult when one parent doesn't make child support payments on time. If there's enough anger and resentment, then the custodial parent could feel like withholding visitation from the late payor. However, this decision might put the custodial parent in a negative light if the exes go to a Texas court about the child support payments or visitation in the future.

Kinds of child support cases

Parents in Texas who have to receive or pay child support may find that how the payments are handled can be confusing. This is likely because there are four distinct kinds of child support cases. In order for parent to fully understand child support payments, they should be aware of what type of case they have.

How child support payments work when joint custody is involved

Arrangements for child support payments in Texas can become more complex if joint custody is part of the equation. But before custody agreements are discussed, decisions have to be made about legal and physical custody as well as parenting time. In every state except Kentucky, negotiations have to take place in order to achieve equal shared parenting that can serve as a starting point for custody. Without joint custody, the non-custodial parent won't be able to do things like make health care decisions for their child or even see their report card.

Establishing child support

Texas parents should be aware that it is necessary to establish both the maternity and paternity of a child before a child support arrangement can be established. The act of giving birth is enough to establish a woman as the mother of a child. However, there are multiple ways paternity can be established.

What happens when the other parent tricks the system?

Many Texas custodial parents depend on child support payments to meet the needs of their children. However, with almost half of parents nationwide receiving partial or no child support payments, many parents find themselves struggling to meet those needs. In some cases, the partial or non-existent payments are a result of voluntary impoverishment.

Statistics highlight child support across the country

Child support can be essential to single parents in Texas given the expense of raising one or more children. While many people think that child support payments are often large or excessive, the reality is far different for the majority of parents. While some high-profile celebrity cases may garner a great deal of attention, child support payments are governed by a state schedule that reflects the income and lifestyle of the parents.

Federal child support office augments its operations

One of the few federal agencies that has actually improved its operations and processes during the administration of President Donald Trump is the United States Office of Child Support Enforcement. This agency has been actively reaching out to payroll and human resources professionals in Texas so that they are aware of the new measures to improve and streamline the child support enforcement process.

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