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Help for parents who can't afford child support

The best interests of children are usually on everyone's mind when decisions about child support are made. Unfortunately, the family court system in Texas is very flawed, and parents are sometimes required to pay far more than they can actually afford on their level of income. Parents who have this type of financial trouble get a lot of negative attention, sometimes even obtaining the label of deadbeat from the media. As a result, they may too afraid or ashamed to ask for help.

Most parents that are short on child support payments aren't withholding money. They just don't have it. This situation is not uncommon in the United States. Research from the Census Bureau shows that only about 43 percent of child support recipients regularly receive the full amount they're owed on a regular basis. This suggests that courts are either making uninformed decisions or are unable to adapt to changing financial conditions.

The first step for parents who can't afford child support payments is to contact the Child Support Enforcement Office in their particular state. The parent can file a motion for modification with this office in order to adjust the amount they owe. Parents will need to prove that they have a change in circumstances that have caused their financial problem. This can include losing a job, medical expenses, reduced working hours, and unexpected costs of raising a child.

When courts make decisions about child support, each parent has the right to representation from an attorney who has their best interests in mind. Child custody is often established during a divorce, but changing circumstances can cause the agreement to be amended at almost any time. A lawyer might help their client negotiate payment amounts through mediation, or they can advocate on their client's behalf in family court.

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