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Can Texas do more to pursue unpaid child support?

Texans know that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is child support. In fact, child support motions frequently dominate many family law cases due to the changing nature of our economy and the changing roles that each parent may take on in the child's life after a divorce.

According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, over $100 billion is owed in child support. Of this amount, approximately $50 billion is actually owed to U.S. taxpayers supporting children on public assistance. Many of these offenders are chronic deadbeat parents who have never complied with their child support obligations. In fact, a total of 11 percent of the total amount of debtors actually owe 54 percent of the child support money that is outstanding.

It has been suggested that increasing the number of child enforcement personnel at the state level may help to improve efforts to bring the worst offenders to justice. However, at the same time, the tough economy has made it difficult for even the most hard-working parents to meet their obligations.

If a parent is facing a divorce, they will need to educate themselves on the important issues of child custody, child support and visitation. Under Texas law, the amount of child support is most often determined by the income of the paying parent. In some situations, the determination may deviate from the state's guidelines and instead be determined according to other factors such as extraordinary needs a child might have. A child support modification is also possible even after a divorce is finalized if a parent suddenly becomes unemployed or unable to work.

Source: CNN Money, "Deadbeat parents cost taxpayers $53 billion," Steve Hargreaves, Nov. 5, 2012

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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