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Tips for fathers dealing with child support and custody

Some Texas fathers might struggle to pay child support or get child custody. Courts still may favor mothers as main caregivers, and more than four-fifths of custodial parents are mothers. However, there are steps fathers can take if they are having issues with support or custody.

Fathers who cannot pay the full child support amount should at least try to pay some part of it. This shows that the father is making an effort and may reduce the likelihood of more severe punishments for failure to pay child support such as jail. Both parents are expected to support the child, but the court also recognizes that there might be situations such as job loss that can lead to an inability to pay the original amount. The father might want to consider getting an attorney and asking for a child support modification. A modification will not change the fact that the father still owes money for any missed payments, but it can reduce future payments.

Unmarried fathers who want custody or visitation rights might be more likely to get them by seeking them early on. If there is a protection order against the father, it might be possible to fight it with the help of witnesses or in other ways.

A parent might be required to do certain things in order to get visitation rights or regain custody. For example, the parent might have to take parenting classes or complete a substance abuse program. In other cases, parents may have a fairly amicable relationship without serious concerns about the child spending time with the other parent. They might be able to negotiate an agreement that could include sharing custody or generous visitation time with one parent. Negotiating the agreement instead of going to court may give parents more flexibility.

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