Parents in Texas who are getting a divorce or unmarried parents should understand the regulations around child support. Both mothers and fathers are expected to support a child, and either parent might be required to pay child support depending on circumstances.
A single mother might have to establish paternity in order to receive payments. This should be done as soon as possible so that the child can benefit from the child support. If the father dies suddenly, paternity must have been established before a child can receive Social Security benefits.
Parents should have the child support payments go through the state Child Support Division. This creates a record of payments made, and it also provides a way for a parent to have child support payments enforced. Parents who do not pay their court-ordered child support may have their wages or income tax refund garnished. Further penalties might include driver's license suspension and fines.
If a parent loses his or her job and cannot meet child support obligations, then he or she must go to court and seek a modification to the child support order. The parent still remains responsible for the full amount until there has been a change in the legal agreement.
While there is a formula for determining child support payments, other factors might be considered as well. A parent who is unhappy with the amount of support they are paying or receiving may want to speak with a lawyer. A family law attorney might be able to aid a parent with seeking approval for a child support order modification from the court.