Handling a Child Support Case as a Non Custodial Parent: Addressing Common Questions

Child support responsibilities can become particularly daunting in the face of job loss or unstable employment. This is a stark contrast to past generations where long-term job stability was more common. In today’s fast-paced world, job transitions, frequent changes, and periods of unemployment are not uncommon, as discussed frequently on sites like Child Support Reddit. These fluctuations are challenging enough on their own. However, they can become even more complex when coupled with child support obligations.

Dealing with Job Loss and Child Support Payments

If you are required to pay child support and lose your job, it’s crucial to understand that your obligations do not automatically pause or cease. You must proactively seek a modification of the child support order. Simply informing the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) about your job loss is insufficient.

Modifying Your Child Support Order

To modify a child support order, you must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. This could be a significant alteration in your financial situation, affecting your ability to fulfill child support commitments. Additionally, if it’s been over three years since the order was established or last modified, and there is a difference of 20% or $100 from the current support amount based on your income and Texas Family Code guidelines, a modification may be warranted.

Job Search and Employment Efforts

Judges often require proof of active job search or upskilling efforts. Demonstrating that you are engaged in seeking new employment or undergoing training for a different career path is crucial.

Consequences of Falling Behind in Child Support

Falling significantly behind in child support can lead to severe legal consequences. Contrary to some beliefs, large arrears in child support do not lead to debt forgiveness. For instance, a father who fell $200,000 behind faced probation and the possibility of jail time for further non-compliance. Thus, understanding that falling behind in payments can lead to jail time, fines, and additional legal expenses is essential.

Unemployment and Additional Support

In the event of job loss, consider consulting vocational counselors or exploring resources like the Texas Workforce Commission for job placement and skills training. Proactive engagement with these services is key to navigating through periods of unemployment.

Child Support and Visitation Rights

It’s important to note that child support and visitation rights are treated as separate legal issues. Even if you fall behind in child support, it does not give the custodial parent the right to deny you visitation with your child, and vice versa. Both parties are expected to adhere to court orders.

Final Thoughts on Child Support

Remember, child support is intended for the wellbeing of your child, not the custodial parent. Keeping this perspective can make fulfilling this obligation less burdensome. If you encounter difficulties with child support payments in Texas, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we specialize in family law and can provide the necessary representation and support for your unique situation.

For more information or to discuss any family law matters, please contact us for a free consultation. Our team is ready to assist and guide you through these challenging but crucial aspects of family law.


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  1. Handling a child support case as the noncustodial parent, Part Five
  2. How to handle a child support case as the noncustodial parent, Part Four
  3. How to take child support as the noncustodial parent, Part Three
  4. Defining a material and substantial change in a child support modification case
  5. How to correctly calculate child support in Texas
  6. Is Overtime Pay or Bonus Pay Considered for Texas Child Support?
  7. Child Support in Texas: What is the most you will have to pay, and what are the exceptions to that rule?
  8. The Dirty Trick of Quitting Your Job to Avoid Child Support During a Texas Divorce
  9. Can I get child support while my Texas divorce is pending?
  10. Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
  11. Can I Sue My Ex for Retroactive or Back Child Support in Texas?
  12. Child Support and College Tuition in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Support Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child support, it’s essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, child support lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child support lawyers in Houston are skilled at listening to your goals and developing a strategy to meet those goals during this trying process. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles child support cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.