Unfair Texas Child Support Laws for Non-Custodial Parents

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    State of Texas Legislature
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    Non-Custodial Parents in Texas
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We, the undersigned citizens of Texas, draw the attention of the State of Texas Legislation to the following:

THAT, the Texas Child Support Guidelines are unfair to the second families of parents who pay child support (non-custodial).

THAT, the guidelines do not recognize the financial needs of any second children a non-custodial parent may have in his care (in an intact family) when assigning the child support and extra-ordinary amounts to be paid for the first children.

THAT, the formula which calculates how much child support is to be paid contains 2 assumptions, i) that a non-custodial parent has no other children in his/her care to financially support and ii) that the non-custodial parent is a bachelor and has minimal expenses.

THAT, the non-custodial parent often has to pay extra-ordinary expenses, in addition to child support, considerably increasing the amount they are obligated to pay.

THAT, only the income of the non-custodial parent is used in determining how much child support to pay, and there are no provisions for ensuring the basic living expenses of the non-custodial parent (and 2nd children) can be met, after child support and extras are paid.

THAT, there is no consideration in the guidelines for the additional expenses non-custodial parent s incur while caring for their children on their access time, above and beyond child support payments to the recipient, causing the non-custodial parent to pay twice.

THAT, child support payments are based on gross income, the non-custodial parent pays tax on the child support as if that income stayed in his/her household. The income is tax free to the recipient and his/her taxes are further reduced by dependent child exemptions and the child tax credits. These tax benefits and credits are not available to the non-custodial parent.

THAT, government benefits assigned to second children, such as Food Stamps or other benefits, is based on the non-custodial parents total income, without deducting the child support payments which directly leave their household. Thus, second children are entitled to lower benefit amount, based on the true incomes in their households. Second families may not qualify for other government assistance as their household incomes are deemed higher than they actually are.

THAT, when the custodial parent moves away with the children, the cost of visiting the children lies with the non-custodial parent. This can amount to thousands of dollars per year on top of child support and extra-ordinary expenses.

THAT, adult children of divorce are entitled to have their parents contribute to their post-secondary education. If the child remains at the custodial parents home while attending school, the non-custodial parent may be obligated to pay both child support and post-secondary costs, up to age 26. Second children do not have this right and supporting adult first children in this manner will result in continued financial hardship for the second family.

THAT, when a non-custodial parent works over-time, or obtains a second job to improve the financial situation of his second family, this income is included in the calculation of child support increases or modifications by the custodial parent or because of garnishment of wages. After paying increased child support, paying an increased proportion of extra-ordinary expenses, and incurring increased taxes, the second family is often left with little extra.

THAT, the non-custodial parent is illegally and unambiguously sentenced for the entire amount of child support without due process in cases where drivers licenses, US Passports are confiscated or denied due to past child support obligations even thought the parent may be paying on time or have a proven payment record for years. Texas Child Support Guidelines create undue hardship to enjoy the Freedom of traveling, vacations, life and civil liberties of enjoyment. Second family concerns are very rarely accepted as a reason to lower child support and extra-expense obligations to the first born.

THAT, these significant inequities highlight the negative financial and psychological implications of belonging to a second family.

THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon the Texas Legislature to revise the Texas Child Support Guidelines so that ALL the children a non-custodial parent has a moral and legal duty to support (whether from the first, the second or subsequent families, and regardless of whether the family is currently intact or not) are recognized in the Guidelines in such a manner that non-custodial parents are able to provide equal treatment for all of their children.