Texas parents have a responsibility to take proper care of their children. Because child support is typically addressed in court during divorce proceedings, parents who never married may be unsure of their rights relating to child support. As marriage is not a prerequisite for child support, parental responsibilities can be determined by the court regardless of a child's parents' marital status.
While some fathers acknowledge paternity and welcome children into their homes, others dispute their paternity. In such cases, a paternity test may be needed to establish parental responsibility. This area of family law could prove complicated, so both a mother seeking child support and a father disputing the obligation may benefit from consulting with an attorney who is experienced in family law.
In some cases, a mother who was never married to her child's father fails to ask the father for child support or fails to inform him of the child, but then applies for government assistance. The government will then generally attempt to locate the father and require him to pay back child support dating back to the child's birth. It is not uncommon for men to be confronted with such claims after many years of being unaware of having a child.
Regardless of all the intricacies of child support when unmarried parents are involved, child support is compulsory and enforceable in Texas. Whether you are a mother struggling to get your child's father to pay child support or a man disputing paternity, experienced family law attorneys can protect your interests and work on finding a solution to suit both parents and children. The child support page on our family law website may provide more information.
Source: fatherhood.about.com, "If you were never married to the child's mother, do you still have to pay ?", Wayne Parker, Nov. 14, 2014