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Child support makes a difference in the new school year

As Texas families begin a fresh school year, it is important for those who are responsible for paying child support to understand the impact they have on a child's academic progress. Basic needs of a child such as back-to-school clothing, food, health care and other services and materials are important, and children depend on the adults in their lives to provide these things. State reports indicate that when child support is paid, children tend to perform better academically. They also tend to stay in school more consistently and experience fewer behavior issues. Studies also note that those parents who pay support tend to be more involved in the lives of their children. Self-confidence and self-control are more frequently demonstrated by children who are well-supported, and risky behaviors are typically minimized. State agencies recognize the challenges parents can face when support is an issue, and there are services provided by the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division to assist. These may include needs such as establishing paternity or locating a parent. The may also address amounts of support and collection of funds. The division encourages parents who owe support to catch up on payments, reminding them that the funds are needed and can make a difference. The agency also emphasizes the importance of timeliness in making such payments. A parent dealing with a shortfall in the budget due to missed support payments may find that legal assistance is provided through government agencies as well. In a case involving discrepancies between a non-custodial parent's income and the support provided to a child, the assistance of a lawyer may be helpful. This may ensure that careful attention is given to details such as the other parent's resources and assets. Because the government division addresses numerous support situations, a lawyer may ensure that the case is dealt with thoroughly in the face of a court system with a heavy case load.

Source: Fort Bend Herald, "Paying child support a must", August 12, 2014

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