Texas Child Support

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In the United States varied divorce laws are formed in different states, as specified by the federal laws. These divorce laws encompass the issue of child support. Child maintenance amount is disbursed by a non-custodial parent to support their children. In Texas child support guidelines are laid down that apply to both parents. Studies reveal that a huge amount of $18.4 billion was collected as child maintenance from the year 2002 to January 2011. Texas divorce Child Support Division enforces the relevant guidelines on parents who fail to disburse the court ordered amount in the specified way.

In Texas a worksheet is used to find out the support amount that the non-custodial parent has to disburse. The net income of the non-custodial parent and the number of children who will get the support are taken into consideration. The support amount is 20% for one child, 25% for two children, 30% for three children and 35% for three children.

Some vital points regarding child maintenance in Texas divorce are elaborated here.

The Child Support Division allocates the following responsibilities to the parents.

  • Intimate the Office of the Attorney General regarding any changes in phone numbers and addresses
  • Offer support to the child
  • Remain present in court
  • Complete the relevant documents

The Division bestows the parents with the following rights:

  • Submit an enquiry or written complaint pertaining to the case
  • Procure professional and timely customer service
  • Be rest assured that any personal data (inclusive of the present address) would be kept confidential

Documents demanded in Divorce Texas Child Support

The Office of the Attorney General requires the following documents if they are available with the applicant of child support.

  • Proof of the history of child support payments
  • Documents that throw light on the incomes and assets of both parents like -
    • Bank statements
    • Tax returns
    • Paycheck stubs
  • Birth certificates of all the children involved in the present action
  • A copy of acknowledgement of paternity, if it bears a signature
  • Copy of the court order for support or separation agreement or divorce decree

Application for Divorce Texas Child Support

  • The Office of the Attorney General acknowledges applications not only from fathers and mothers but also from other persons who have possession of the child, like grandparents.
  • In child support services, the lawyers represent the state of Texas. They do not represent any applicant of the case.
  • Any applicant does not have the authority to choose the type of enforcement method for his/her case. The Office of the Attorney General is supposed to offer precise service considering the benefit of the children.
  • Recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Family) automatically become recipients of child support services.
  • Non-recipients of TANF should make an application for Title IV-D child support services.
  • The Office of the Attorney General does not charge any fee for the application.
  • If the applicant is a minor parent, then he/she has to submit the name and contact data of his/her legal guardian or parent.
  • In the previous point, it may happen that the legal guardian is reluctant or not able to play the role of the adult representative of the minor parent. If this is the case, the court is empowered to sign up a GAL (guardian ad litem).

Payment methods

These methods can be broadly classified into 2 categories:

  • By cash
    • Bank draft
    • Debit or credit card
  • Walk in
    • Mail
    • Internet
    • Phone

Enforcement Measures

A judge has the authority to imprison a non-custodial parent, who has not abided by the support order and would pass a judgment regarding support that is past due.

Some of the enforcement remedies that might be used by the Child Support Division are as follows:

  • Filing a court case that requests the court to enforce the support order against the non-custodial parent
  • Suspension of fishing, hunting, professional and driver's licenses
  • Filing of lien against the non custodial parent's assets and property
  • Interception of any money that is due from federal or state sources. This is inclusive of lottery winnings and federal income tax refund checks.
  • Wage withholding i.e. the employer subtracts the support amount from the paycheck of the non-custodial parent.

Various studies reveal that 95% of the non-custodial parents in this state are fathers. It does not mean that only fathers are entitled to pay child maintenance. Texas divorce child support can be paid by fathers or mothers, whoever is the non-custodial parent. For, it is the duty of every parent to help their children financially and emotionally.

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