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Determining and paying child support

There are a number of facts about child support that both mothers and fathers in Texas should understand if either will be paying or receiving it. Child support is usually paid from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent although it is possible that one person will owe support to the other if custody is shared. Parents are obligated to support their children whether or not they were ever married to one another.

In general, child support ends when a child is no longer a minor, joins the military or becomes an adult through emancipation or another process. Parental rights might also be terminated in certain circumstance. Child support could last longer if a child has special needs. Income and how much time each parent spends with the child are both factors in calculating child support. In some cases, it is possible to get child support modified if a parent has a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income. This modification must be approved by a judge.

There are consequences for failing to pay child support although those consequences are not supposed to include one parent keeping the child from the other. However, the state can help collect child support payments, and a parent may lose a driver's license or have wages garnished for nonpayment.

Negotiating child custody and support is a difficult element of the divorce process. Parents may struggle to see past their negative emotions toward one another and understand that they each may be good parents even if they do not get along. It can also be hard for parents to give up the time with their children that they are used to. However, courts usually operate from the assumption that it is in the best interests of the child to spend time with both parents.

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