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How is child support affected by parental incarceration in Texas?

When a parent ends up in jail or prison, there are a lot of different things that come to mind. One of those questions is how they will care for their child. Another might be how they get back on top of things related to their child when they are released from their incarceration term. Anyone in Texas who is facing a child support case involving an incarcerated parent might be interested in learning some basics about how the state handles these cases.

How can I pay child support if I’m incarcerated?

You might not have to pay child support during your term of incarceration, but you must go through a review process to get the child support order changed. This involves filing a form that alerts the court to your current situation. You must file this with the court that has jurisdiction over your child support case.

How do I get payments to the person caring for my child?

If you are the child’s custodial parent and have left your child in someone else’s care, you can have the payments redirected to that person. You will need to sign an “Authorization for Release of Information and Payment” that allows the person to get the funds. This must be sent to the Office of the Attorney General. Without that, the payments would continue to go to the payment method ordered in your case unless a new court order is issued that redirects those payments to another person.

Being incarcerated isn’t easy for any parent. For parents who pay child support and those who rely on child support, incarceration can be very difficult. Knowing your rights and responsibilities can help you to determine what to do about your case.

Source: Attorney General of Texas, “Child Support Information for Incarcerated Parents and Parents Returning to the Community” Jan. 07, 2015

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