When Texas parents decide to divorce, they may face particularly difficult issues with child support and custody. Both mothers and fathers often complain about the treatment they face in family court. This is especially true when the parents have a relationship fraught with poor communication, mistrust or anger. Fathers might feel like they are victims of gender bias while mothers may feel that their concerns are not taken seriously.
In American, roughly 80 percent of custodial parents are mothers. However, most of these cases don't represent custody battles. Many fathers don't seek custody, but when they do, they are far more likely to succeed. While fathers may encounter some judges with outdated ideas about parental roles, joint custody is increasingly preferred by family courts.
Child support can pose its own problems, especially when a parent's financial circumstances change after a support order is issued. These payments are based on the parent's income, time spent with the children and other criteria laid out in state guidelines. When a parent loses their job or becomes disabled, the previous support amount may become unmanageable. As debt racks up, the parent could find themselves facing jail time for contempt of court. Penalties can be especially severe if a judge believes that a parent is deliberately avoiding income in order to lessen the child support burden.
Parents do have options, however. When child support payments are no longer feasible due to a change in circumstances, a family law attorney can work with a parent to file for a child support modification. The support order can be modified to reflect current financial circumstances and help a parent avoid major debt and serious penalties.