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What do I need to know about paying child support?

Child support is a heavy topic. It can make parents fight and cause children to get stuck in the middle. If you are about to embark upon paying child support, it can help to know a little more about it and how it works. Texas has specific rules that outline how support is handled, so parents can be clear on the topic. 

According to the Texas Attorney General, paying child support is the obligation of a legal parent. This means any mother and a father that has been named by the court as the legal father. If you are a father, your paternity can be established in a few ways, depending on your relationship with the mother. 

Once parental status is ordered, the court will move to awarding child support. The support is usually paid to the custodial parent. It is figured using your net income. It is also based on how many children you have. You must pay support even if you are not working. Payments are usually taken directly out of your paycheck by your employer. You may also pay them to the state. 

Child support and visitation are not connected. If you fall behind on your payments, you cannot be denied visitation, but you may face legal penalties. For example, you could be fined up to $500 or go to jail for up to six months. Penalties can compound and even lead to prison time if you continue to not pay. This information is for education only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. 

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