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How does incarceration affect child support?

Being incarcerated changes a variety of the aspects of your life. One aspect that won't automatically change is child support. How an incarceration affects you depends on if you are the parent who is paying child support or the parent who is receiving child support.

How does incarceration affect the paying parent?

A parent who is incarcerated obviously won't have a job that allows him or her to pay child support. This doesn't mean that child support obligations automatically stop if you are incarcerated. Instead, you will have to file the appropriate legal forms to petition the court to halt your child support obligation while you are incarcerated. Completing the Incarcerated Noncustodial Parent Affidavit of Income/Assets is the first step in the process. Other steps might also be necessary, so you should keep an eye out for correspondence that lets you know those steps.

How does being incarcerated affect the recipient parent?

If you are the parent who is receiving child support and are incarcerated, your child support payments will continue as they did previously unless certain steps are taken. If the paying parent petitions the court to stop the payments because he or she has the child, the payments to you might stop. It is also possible to take steps to redirect the child support to the person who does have your child.

It can be difficult to deal with child custody issues while you are incarcerated. Remember that you still have the right to legal representation for these matters even if you are incarcerated. Seeking out the answers to questions you might have can help you along the way.

Source: The Texas Office of the Attorney General, "Child Support: Information for Incarcerated Parents and Parents Returning to the Community," accessed July 29, 2016

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