As an experienced Arlington, TX family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain, there are many reasons that a person may need to receive child support at some point in their lives. There does come a point when someone, who is the main guardian of a child needs financial assistance in raising that child and that is where child support comes in. Going through the Texas court system in order to establish child support is a complicated process, and one that is best researched before the endeavor is undertaken. This article will explain the steps necessary to achieve that end goal of obtaining child support. On the other hand, it is important to know how to pay child support and how paying it will affect you financially, which will also be covered in this article.
What qualifications must be met to establish child support in Texas?
To begin, there are two things that must be done to establish child support in the state of Texas. First, a person must “establish [the] paternity” of the child in question, whose child support would be paid for. This step is actually quite simple, but may still take some time to accomplish. If the parents in question are married, establishing paternity would be as simple as presenting the child’s birth certificate in court. For parents that are unmarried, establishing paternity may require a few more steps.
How can paternity be established in a legal context?
There are two main ways to establish paternity in this case: file an “Acknowledgment of Paternity” form, or take a paternity test. In order to file an Acknowledgement of Paternity form, both parties must meet with an “Acknowledgement of Paternity certified entity” that has been “trained by the office of the Attorney General”. They can help parents complete the forms with the proper required information and clear up any and all questions that someone may have about the form itself.
How can paternity be challenged?
In the case of a paternity test, the “Attorney General” may “file a petition” to ask the court to establish the paternity of the child. Both parties and the child in question would then have to take the test “in court, at a local clinic, or at a local Child Support Office ”. However, while this option is “99%” accurate, it can take “4-6 weeks” for the results of the test to be made available.
How is the amount of child support determined?
After this step has been completed a “court order must be established. This would put down in a court order “the amount of child” support that must be paid and many other factors that must be discussed before putting a parent on child support. On top of child support, in the state of Texas this court order would also cover the “custody” and “visitation” rights of the parent in question. This court order must be done through a “Child Support Review Process”, where both parents must be present to discuss the terms and amount of child support that would be due. If both parties can agree, then the order can be “sent to a judge” for finalization, and if not then a date for a “court hearing” to do further debate on the terms of the court order before it can be finalized.
How would support payments be fulfilled on an on-going basis?
After this has been done child support can be paid to the proper parties. There are multiple ways for child support to be paid: through “electronic payments”, “mail”, or “wage withholding”. For electronic payments, the Attorney General has a system already set up to send child support money to the necessary parties. For the mail option, money can be paid “with a check” that is “payable to the Office of the Attorney General”. In the wage withholding option, which is the most used option, the “Office of the Attorney General” sends a notice to your “employer” so that the money can be withheld from your paycheck.