When parents in Texas divorce, both are usually committed to providing their child or children with necessary financial support. To this end, divorce decrees often address the obligations of both parents with regards to child support payments, health insurance coverage and which parent is responsible for extraordinary expenses.
Some Texas noncustodial parents may have their wages garnished if they fall behind on child support. About 7 percent of all American workers face wage garnishment, and the highest percentage are for nonpayment of child support. These and other findings were in a study released by the ADP Research Institute on Sept. 27.
Making the finances work after a Texas parent files for divorce can be difficult. However, if the parent will have primary custody of the children, he or she could expect the other parent to be ordered to pay a certain amount of child support every month. Like all other states, Texas has child support calculator tools that the custodial parent can use to estimate what those payments will be.
If a divorced Texas parent who has been ordered to pay child support suffers a job loss or some other change in income, it may be necessary to ask for a modification. It is important to point out that any past due support generally cannot be reduced by a judge or discharged through bankruptcy. Therefore, it is important for a parent to ask for a modification as soon as a change in circumstances occurs.
In the state of Texas, children become legally emancipated when they reach the age of majority. If their parents are divorced, the noncustodial parent will no longer have an obligation to pay child support. In some rare cases, however, the child may become legally emancipated before reaching the age of majority.
Texas fans of Mets player Jose Reyes may have heard that in addition to the three children he has with his wife, he has a daughter with another woman. She has filed a suit against Reyes alleging that he is not paying her the 17 percent of his income in child support that the law requires.
There are many Texas fathers who do not live in the same households as their children. According to a study, fathers who owe back child support may spend less time with their children, are likely to have children with multiple partners and may work fewer weeks a year than those fathers who stay current.
Texas parents who are unmarried or divorced may not have a formal child support agreement in place. According to a forthcoming study, while parents and children are better served in the current child support system in terms of more families getting more assistance, overall, the number of families in the system are down. In 2004, 60 percent of custodial parents who were eligible for child support had a formal agreement in place. By 2014, that number had dropped to 49 percent.
When Texas parents end their marriage, they typically undergo a radical lifestyle change. Household finances will be different, as each party will be living separately and incomes are no longer being combined. In many cases, the parent who is awarded primary physical custody will be entitled to receive child support through an order issued by the judge. However, it's important to note that child support does not cover all the expenses of raising children.
In one of his final acts before leaving office in January, President Barack Obama plans to ease child support obligations for prisoners in Texas and nationwide. The initiative is designed to relieve inmates of potentially crippling debt, making it easier for them to reenter society.