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Government's role in unpaid child support

Readers in Houston, Texas, may know that child support is a monthly payment that the non-custodial parents make as their share in raising the child. In Texas, the non-custodial parent's child support payments can be based on the child support guidelines. The amount of child support is based on factors like the child's every day expenses, health care and the other parent's ability to earn an income. For this reason, unpaid child support can be a serious issue, particularly for a parent with disabilities.

A recent article told the story of a parent with three children that highlights the importance of child support in every household. This woman is the custodial parent of three teenagers. Unfortunately, she was born with a congenital birth defect and recently suffered a heart attack. These conditions prevent her from working.

As the custodial parent, she struggles to financially support the children and believes that her disability payment of $639 per month may not be enough. She was supposed to get child support from her former husband, who owes up to $10,000 in financial support. The woman stated that she has not received the child support payments since August of 2012, which is why she had to turn to public assistance.

Failure to pay child support can bring financial troubles to the household of the custodial parent and children. For this reason, the custodial parent may have to turn to public assistance offered by the government. Those parents who apply for public assistance have to be eligible based on criteria set by the state to receive the assistance.

Unpaid child support not only affects the children, but also the government. Child support enforcement agencies, together with the court, may implement collection strategies, such as confiscation of real estate, wage garnishments or jail time against the supporting parent.

Source: TCPalm, "Anthony Westbury: Deadbeat parents cost us all big money," Anthony Westbury, Jan. 24, 2013

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