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Delinquent child support and father involvement

Many Texas fathers who have gone through a divorce do not have shared or primary physical custody of their children. They are typically ordered by the court to pay support to the custodial parent. According to a study, fathers who owe back child support tend to spend less time their children, are more likely to have children with other partners and often work fewer weeks throughout the year than fathers who are current.

Parents who are delinquent with their child support payments may incur civil and criminal penalties. In many states, they are at risk of having their driver's or professional licenses suspended or revoked. In Texas, the state attorney general's office began blocking the vehicle registration renewals of delinquent parents in the latter part of 2016.

The study that examined the link between paternal involvement and delinquent child support payments was initiated by two researchers. The data was obtained from a longitudinal survey of 4,897 urban families with children who were born between 1998 and 2000, and the researchers targeted approximately 1,000 fathers who did not live with their children.

The results of the study indicated that about 30 percent of those fathers were behind on their payments, with an average delinquent amount of $7,705. It also showed that the association between reduced father involvement and delinquent child support could be attributed to how many weeks a year the father works and the type of relationship he has with the mother of the child.

Courts calculate child support on a number of factors that include state guidelines, but the overriding emphasis is on the best interests of the child. Custodial parents who are owed support may want to meet with their attorney to see how to obtain a wage garnishment or another appropriate enforcement measure.

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