If you are facing
criminal charges in Texas and you’re a noncustodial parent who pays child support,
surely, you’re wondering if you would have to pay child support
if you were sentenced to jail or prison – this is only normal to wonder.
In Texas and all states, parents are obligated to financially support their
children, usually until they turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever
happens later though some states say parents have to pay child support
up until the age of 19 or even 21 (New York).
Parents have to support their children and that obligation does NOT end
if a parent becomes unemployed, disabled, sick with a fatal disease, mentally
ill or incarcerated.
What Texas Law Says
Like all states, parents’ obligation to pay child support does not
end automatically because they become incarcerated. The child support
obligation does not end, nor does it change (reduce) because the parent
suddenly finds themselves behind bars. The only way a noncustodial parent
can change the court-ordered child support amount is to petition the family
court for a downward modification.
If you find yourself facing a jail or prison sentence, our advice is to
request a “review and adjustment” of your current child support
order. To find out if you are eligible for a downward modification, you’ll
need to fill out the
Inquiry Form for Incarcerated Parents.
“What if the incarcerated parent is behind bars?” In that case,
the incarcerated parent can obtain the form at their facility. A lot of
inmates are parents who pay child support, so this is a very common situation
and the staff at the facility should be able to assist in the matter.
While a noncustodial parent is behind bars, the Office of the Attorney
General can assign a designated representative to provide the parent with:
- Information about their child support case
- Information regarding the monthly child support and arrears owed
- Reviewing their case to see if they can qualify for a downward modification
- Information on setting up a paternity action
We hope you found this information helpful. If you are looking for legal
representation in a criminal case,
contact Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law.