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One should avoid using child support as a bargaining chip

The well-being of Texas children is likely of great importance to their parents. Divorced parents typically want to maintain a strong relationship with their children. Many couples are able to agree on typically contentious issues such as child support and child custody through communication and compromise. However, prior to entering into an agreement for child support, it may help to understand some facts about it.

Family courts aim to establish child support that will be fair and provide for the child adequately. Although both parents are obliged to provide ongoing support, no child should be denied the lifestyle he or she was accustomed to before the divorce. In the new single-income household, child support from the absent parent may be essential to maintain the lifestyle. It is important for both parents to understand that child support belongs to the child.

In order to keep a proper record of all payments submitted, or withheld, child support payments are typically paid to the county’s probation department. This provides efficient accounting, and when the obligated parent fails to pay, the probation department will automatically bring the matter to the attention of the court. Hence, children need not be traumatized by parents fighting over child support.

Unfortunately, there may be occasions when parents decide to handle child support payments personally. However, circumstances change, and more often than not, child support becomes a bargaining tool for more visitation or other demands. Custodial parents in Texas who are in a situation where child support is withheld may want to take legal action. There is guidance available to assist them in pursuing a claim in the family court and to thereby prevent a child from living in an unsatisfactory situation.

Source: nj.com, "Child support guidelines", Victoria M. Dalton, June 8, 2014

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