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Single parents eligible for child support payments, too

A child should be supported financially by both parents if at all possible, even when he or she lives in a single parent home. In Texas, as in all the country, child support is ascertained the same way whether the parent is separated, getting a divorce, unmarried or had the child after being sexually active with a stranger. The gist is, however, that the child's legal paternity must be established, although that doesn't always mean the child's biological father.

The processes for getting child support vary from state to state, but the federal government says every state must have child support guidelines in place. An affidavit must be filed with the court to secure child support. There are four options to do this: self-representation in court, agreeing to mediation, hiring a lawyer or getting help from the Texas child support agency. It may take several months, no matter what route is taken and the process must be started within 90 days of finding a noncustodial parent.

One of the points reviewed when calculating child support is a person's income. The person who takes care of the child most often is the one who will receive support for the child. It is important to establish legal parentage so both parents have access to the child since it's most beneficial for children to have relationships with both parents.

A Texas attorney might be able to help a client to determine the parentage of a child for child support. Besides supporting a child financially, it's best when a parent is involved in a child's life -- unless there are abuse issues prevalent. A lawyer will be able to explain Texas laws relating to child support and how they affect individual cases. 

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