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Unmarried mothers' challenges to get child support

Child support is a parental obligation that is taken seriously in Texas. In every circumstance, it is in the best interest of children to have the full emotional and financial support of both parents. Following the correct procedures may make the child support process less challenging. It is reported that about 40 percent of all children are born to single mothers.

Before an unmarried mother can receive financial support from a father, paternity has to be established. Once the man is identified as a child's legal father, a mother's application for child support can proceed. This is not only important for the purposes of a regular child support payment, but also for any benefits related to Social Security and inheritance if the father should die. 

It is typically recommended that child support payments be made through the office of child support enforcement. This can eliminate situations of false accusations regarding non-payment, or claims of payments that were never made. When circumstances change materially, such as when a job is lost or another unanticipated financial change occurs that is not the fault of the person obligated to pay support, a petition for modification can be filed.

Sometimes, when a parent's financial circumstances change, he or she might choose to stop paying child support instead of asking the court to modify the obligation to an affordable amount. This unilateral decision can have severe consequences. An experienced Texas family law attorney can help a parent navigate any of the legal proceedings related to child support.

Source: empowermagazine.com, "The Challenges of Child Support: 5 Things Every Parent Should Know", Jamaal Stafford, April 20, 2016

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