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In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division provides services to both custodial and noncustodial parents. This department creates and modifies child support orders as well as enforces these orders when lack of payment occurs, with the goal of ensuring that children in the state receive necessary financial support from both parents whenever possible.

If you are a parent who wants to establish paternity, locate your child's other parent or establish a legal child support order, you can apply online for child support services.

Understanding support calculations

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If you are in the military in Texas, it can bring about complications when it comes to child custody issues. This is especially true if you are active duty and face deployment. However, there are protections for you that will help make the process fair.

Military OneSource explains that you can get plenty of assistance when you need it to set up parenting plans and care for your children when you are on duty. In addition, if you are working on a custodial agreement, you have rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act can help you to get court dates delayed or allow you to be there for your scheduled court date. It allows you to ensure that you do not miss court dates because you are on duty.

The state also offers some protections for you. They may include preventing a judge from using your military status when deciding custody. For example, if you are often deployed, the judge cannot use that as a basis for giving the other parent the majority of the custody time. State law may also help protect you against having custody decisions made when you are not available.

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Being an incarcerated parent is not easy. You lose many rights, which could include rights to seeing your child. However, one thing you do not lose is the responsibility to pay child support. The state of Texas understands, though, that paying your full child support obligation while incarcerated is almost impossible. That is why the Attorney General of Texas explains there is assistance to help you with your child support obligations while you are in prison.

The Child Support Division works with the criminal justice system to provide you with as much help as possible. Do note that these agencies cannot stop interest accumulating or provide any type of legal assistance.

What they can do is provide you with information about your child support case, review your case, help you with modifications or terms of your order. If you have paternity issues, they can assist with that as well. The main service, though, is modification of your order. They can get you to court on the matter and get reviews or adjustments to help make things more affordable for you.

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After a divorce in Texas, the entire family must adjust to a new situation. This can mean a new home, new friends and a new school, and less time with the non-custodial parent. FindLaw lists split or joint custody as an option, but the parent with physical custody is considered the custodial parent. As non-custodial fathers find themselves with fewer opportunities to interact with their kids on a daily basis, they must seize the opportunity they do have to bond with them.

According to Family Education, both parents should have a similar disciplinary policy and enforce that policy when they are with the children. This means that both parents start off on equal footing and the children are not drawn to one because they have a more relaxed parenting style.

When fathers do not have everyday custody of their child, it is tempting to develop the “Disney Dad” syndrome. This happens when one parent feels guilty that they do not see their children regularly anymore and they give the kids everything they ask for. While this may seem like the best idea at the time, it can also create serious friction between the father and the custodial parent.

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Having the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services pay you a visit can be very unsettling. This agency investigates allegations of abuse and neglect, so someone has reported you to them. You do have rights during this process, which includes knowing what to expect.

According to DFPS, a child welfare visit happens after they receive communication about suspected abuse or neglect at your home. You always have the right to ask questions and contact the DFPS supervisor if you need to. A worker should always present you with an ID verifying he or she is from the DFPS.

At the visit, the worker will talk with you and your children. They may inspect your home and offer you services as well if they see a need. The worker will take all steps necessary to keep your children safe, but this does not usually mean he or she will take your children. More often, the worker will offer you assistance if he or she sees an issue in your home. If DFPS does take your children, you will have a court hearing within two weeks. You also have the opportunity to provide the names of three people who could care for your children in the meantime.

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