Providing children physical security and daily necessities relies on a certain level of financial security. For divorced parents with sole physical custody or unmarried parents, child support is often where much of that financial security comes from. Although some Texas parents are hesitant to involve their child’s other parent in a legal matter such as child support, doing so usually proves best.
For unmarried parents to receive child support, they must first establish paternity. This step is unnecessary for parents who have divorced but were married at the time of the child’s birth. A father may establish paternity voluntarily, but legal action may be taken if he does not wish to do so. This usually requires a court order for a DNA test.
Once paternity is established, parents may proceed to address child support and other family law issues. Texas state guidelines regarding income will be used to establish an appropriate amount of child support, although additional children of the noncustodial parent can also influence the sum. Some noncustodial parents ask for a reduction in the amount of support they owe because their ex earns a significant amount, but this is usually not effective. Per the law, children deserve to be supported by both parents income regardless if one greatly outearns the other.
Some parents initially forgo court-ordered child support because they hope to retain civility after a divorce or with an unmarried ex. While it is admirable to want to avoid unnecessary conflict, financial support for a child is extremely important. Child support orders ensure that children are financially cared for at all times, and not only during times of peace between their parents.
Source: FindLaw, “Child Support Basics“, Accessed on Oct. 3, 2017