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Child Support for Incarcerated Parents in Texas

When someone is convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail or prison, it doesn’t mean that their life automatically stops. They will have to address their job. They will still have to pay their auto loan and mortgage or lease, and they’ll have to continue paying their monthly credit card bills among other things. At least they’re supposed to pay all these things. If they can’t afford to and they can’t get help from friends or family, their credit can be ruined.

But what about child support, are inmates expected to keep on paying? This one is important and since a large percentage of inmates are mothers and fathers, it’s a question we hear a lot.

Incarceration Doesn’t Stop Child Support

If you are a noncustodial parent who has been ordered to pay child support by a family court, please understand that incarceration does not automatically stop your obligation to financially support your child. The only way for you to have your existing child support payment reduced or otherwise modified is to ask the family court to change the order.

“How do I ask the court for a modification?” You will need to request a “review and adjustment” of the child support order. To see if your case qualifies for a reduced monthly child support payment, you will need to fill out an Inquiry Form for Incarcerated Parents.

If you don’t have passive income or assets to continue paying child support while you’re incarcerated, and if you will have zero income while you’re behind bars, you will certainly experience a “significant change in circumstances,” which could work in your favor.

If your petition is approved and you are later released, it’s important that you contact the child support office and stay in contact with the staff there as your circumstances change. They understand that it takes people time to get back on their feet after being incarcerated, and they are there to help you as you transition back to full-time employment.

Next: What is Community Supervision?

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