When parents in Texas go through a divorce, they may struggle with the changing relationship with their children. When both parents want to play an active, involved role in their children’s lives, child support and custody issues can be contentious. In many cases, both parents feel as if they haven’t received fair treatment in family court, especially if they’re not fully satisfied by the outcome. Even more, both working parents may struggle with financial issues, balancing time with career and children and child support payments.
Shared custody is increasingly favored by many family court judges. Statistics show that children experience better outcomes when both parents are heavily active in their lives. Still, over 80 percent of custodial parents are mothers. In many cases, however, fathers have a strong likelihood of receiving child custody if they actively file for it in court or work to negotiate an agreement with the other parent.
Child support can be another difficult issue, especially if circumstances change after the initial support order was filed. Court orders for support are based on official state formulas that reflect a number of factors, including parental income and the time spent with each parent. If a parent loses his or her job, however, he or she may be unable to pay the previous support amount. If parents don’t do anything to change the situation, they could even face jail time for violating a court order.
When a child support order is no longer sustainable for a parent, he or she can go back to court to seek a child support modification. A new order will not wipe away existing debt, but it can protect parents facing financial hardship moving forward. A family law attorney might represent a parent in seeking child custody or modifying a child support order to reflect the existing situation.