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Do Incarcerated Parents Pay Child Support in Texas?

While an incarcerated parent is behind bars, it’s important that he or she stays in touch with the Child Support Division. The agency helps parents who are incarcerated, and it assists them when they are released from custody and return to the community.

Before an incarcerated parent works with the Child Support Division, he or she should complete an Authorization for Release of Information or Payment form. When he or she completes this form, he or she authorizes a trusted friend or family member to receive information about their child support case on their behalf.

Does a Child Support Obligation End?

A lot of people believe that their child support obligations automatically stop when they are incarcerated; however, this is a common misconception. As with a sudden job loss, the child support arrears will continue accruing until the court agrees to change the existing order.

If a non-custodial parent is incarcerated, the only way to change or stop the court-ordered amount of child support is to ask the family court to modify it. To petition for a modification, either parent can request a “review and adjustment” of their child support order. Next, they will typically complete the Inquiry Form for Incarcerated Parents, and they’ll see if they qualify for a reduction in their monthly child support payment.

Generally, the Child Support Division cannot:

  • Enforce visitation
  • Change a child custody order
  • Provide attorney services or legal advice
  • Stop or reverse interest on child support arrears
  • Perform a DNA test if there is a child support order
  • Provide the incarcerated parent with their children’s address

Incarceration places a person’s life on hold and therefore, they need some time to get back on their feet after they’re released. If you were recently released from custody and you have an open child support case, it is worth the time to contact a family law attorney to get all legal affairs in good order.