In terms of child support, unmarried parents can be required to either pay or receive it. Your responsibility as parents remains regardless of your marital situation with one another. Unmarried same-sex spouses have different rules, such as that they must petition for custody of a child.
The Unmarried Father Responsibilities
If you are named in a Dallas child support claim as a father, then the first cause of action is to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, you will have to pay child support to the mother. Those payments will depend on your income level.
The court will consider a number of sources of income.
- Rental income (if applicable)
- Workers’ compensation
- Insurance and disability payments
If the paternity test proves that you are the father of the child, then you’ll have to pay the mother child support back payments if you haven’t thus far. Back payments are in addition to future child support payments.
Back payments are something that an unmarried Dallas man should consider for this reason: if the mother of your child seeks help from outside sources, such as welfare, to help with her bills and it comes to light that you are the father of her child at a late date then you will be held responsible to the state for the welfare payments that the mother received while you were not paying child support. Repaying government agencies is not taken lightly and can spin out into thousands of dollars if it goes on for years.
If you are currently named in a child support petition claiming payments, speak to a family lawyer in Dallas about the best course of action moving forward. If you do not believe that you’re the father, you may have to prove that through a paternity test. It’s best to seek expert legal guidance during this time.
An unmarried mother must also establish the paternity of the child before she can begin receiving child support payments.
Factors Affecting Child Support
The factors affecting child support payments for unmarried parents in Dallas are same as those involving married parents. They include the income of the parent and the needs of the child including medical bills. Once a court order establishing child support is made, the parent ordered to pay child support must continue making the payments. If he fails to make the payments, then the spouse who should have been receiving the payments can sue.
For more information on your responsibility and rights to child support, speak with Dallas family lawyer Julie Johnson. Call 214-265-7630 to speak with Attorney Johnson or fill out our contact form for fast service.