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Family Law Archives

Formal and informal negotiations about child support

When a Texas couple ends their marriage, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other. However, parents may participate in the decision regarding this child support rather than simply going through litigation and having a judge decide. Parents will need to decide the amount, duration and frequency of the support, and the arrangement must be one that is compatible with state laws. A judge will review the parents' written agreement and may hold an informal hearing to make sure both parents understand the terms of the agreement and that it was negotiated fairly. The agreement will then be made legally binding.

The process of acknowledging paternity

Texas fathers may be more likely to acknowledge paternity if the mother is well-educated and affluent according to a study that looked at 5,427,689 births to unmarried women between 2009 and 2013. The study found that paternity was claimed at the hospital for nearly 70 percent of children of unmarried mothers. This means that each year roughly 750,000 children do not have a legal father named when they leave the hospital although it may be claimed at a later date.

How Texas residents may be impacted by Obama regulation

In his final month in the White House, President Barack Obama issued several hundred regulations. One of them called on states to assess realistic child support payments on those who are poor or incarcerated. A 2006 federal study of nine states found that 70 percent of those who were behind on their child support made $10,000 or less per year.

Texas alimony in divorce negotiations

When the topic of divorce comes up, many Texans wonder how alimony may be awarded and how that will affect their ongoing financial stability after the divorce. Alimony, or spousal support, is different than child support because it is paid directly to the former spouse for their continued well-being and ability to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. Alimony should always be considered when deciding whether to pursue a divorce proceeding.

Child support modifications and jurisdictional issues

In some Texas child support matters, the noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay support experiences a significant adverse change in financial circumstances long after the order has been issued. In those cases, the obligor may want to file a petition to modify the monthly child support amount to reflect the current circumstances.

Calculating child support in Texas

The Texas legislature has established child support laws in an attempt to provide financial stability for children growing up in Texas with one parent. While all Texas parents have a legal obligation to support their children, child support is commonly at issue in divorce, visitation and paternity cases. Accordingly, family courts are often called upon to calculate amounts and enter orders governing payment.

Child support enforcement

Texas parents who receive child support payments rely heavily on this income, according to data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Most of the recipients of child support are mothers, and the payments make up an average of around 39 percent of their incomes. Child support payments are also responsible for a 25 percent reduction in the poverty rate of single mothers.