Some parents in Texas who are divorced or separated from the other parent of their child may be paid child support. However, in some cases, the other parent may not make those payments regularly. When this happens, the recipient parent might be able to go to state or federal court to compel the parent to pay support.
A parent going to state court will need to produce certain types of documentation first. There should be evidence of the parent’s attempt to collect child support and evidence of the lack of payment for an extended time. If the parents were unmarried, the mother may need to show evidence that the father knew the child was his.
There are a few circumstances in which a federal court will hear a child support case and help under the federal Child Support Recovery Act. In some cases, the state court system may be unable to offer a remedy. If the paying parent has been moving around to various states or tried to hide to avoid child support payments, the federal court may address it. The parent will need documentation showing that there has been a willful refusal to pay support, that the debt is either over $5,000 or has been unpaid for a year, and that the paying parent lives in a different state from the child.
Child support is calculated using guidelines that take into account parents’ incomes and other factors. If something happens in the life of a parent paying support that will make it difficult to keep up child support payments, such as job loss, that parent can return to court to ask for a modification based on a change in circumstances. If the parents have a legal child support agreement, this is necessary even if they informally agree on a reduced payment.