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The process of getting child support that is owed

When parents in Texas and other states get divorced, one person may be granted custody of the children while the other individual is ordered to pay child support. If a parent fails to pay support as ordered, he or she could be put in jail. Other common penalties for failing to pay child support include the loss of a driver's license or passport and wage garnishment.

In some cases, a noncustodial parent could be asked to pay support retroactive to when the divorce occurred. The custodial parent must generally show proof that he or she tried to collect support and that those attempts were not successful. If the noncustodial parent is a male, paternity must generally be established before he is ordered to pay support. Whether or not retroactive support requests are granted partially depends on the noncustodial parent's ability to pay.

Parents can provide support to their children in ways that don't involve making cash payments. For instance, they could pay for a child's clothing or educational needs. A parent could also provide physical care for the child in lieu of making payments to the custodial parent. Whenever a noncustodial parent provides support for a child, he or she should document the event and ask that a person witness it as well.

When creating or modifying a child support order, the child's best interests are the top priority. People who are seeking child support may benefit from talking with an attorney. He or she may explain the guidelines and factors that a judge may use when determining how much support to grant to a custodial parent. A lawyer also may be able to help a person determine alternate ways that a noncustodial parent can adequately provide for the child.

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