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Are you a deadbeat parent?

The term deadbeat dad or deadbeat parent has been around for quite some time. It is used in Texas both as a layman's term and as a legal term. If you fall behind on your support payments, are you a deadbeat parent? What if you are not very involved in your child's life? Does that make you a deadbeat? Understanding the definition and the way this term is used can help you to get a better idea of what a deadbeat really is.

According to the Huffington Post, the legal definition and the layman's definitions of a deadbeat parent are quite different. For many people who use the term, a deadbeat is someone who is not involved in their child's life, who does not pay support and does not care about their child. More often than not, it is a term reserved for fathers. 

The legal definition, though, is different on some key points. First, it considers the actions of the parent. If a parent is not seeing their child for some reason but wants to, then that is not a deadbeat parent. In addition, if a parent is not paying support because he or she cannot, then that also is not a deadbeat. To be a deadbeat parent under the legal definition, you need to choose to not be involved with your child or pay support. It boils down to choice. Plus, a deadbeat parent can be a mom or a dad. 

So, if you are not paying support because you cannot afford it, you are not a deadbeat parent. Do not let people label you this way due to circumstances beyond your control because it can be damaging to your relationship with your child. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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