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Public opinion on child support laws

Texas parents who have gone through a divorce may appreciate that there is a substantial disconnect between the way the public views child support laws and how they actually work. One study that explored this found that the public believes the formulas used by courts to calculate child support are unfair. The existing laws are not consistent with the average person's idea of what is right. The research discovered that the public largely believes child support should be based on the mother's income when the mother is the parent with custody.

People taking part in the study were given child support cases to consider. The participants were then asked for their opinions on how much child support the mother as the custodial parent should get in every case. The study found that many participants did not consider the father's income and instead based their decisions off the mother's income. In reality, child support calculations in a few states are based solely on the noncustodial parent's income instead. In the other states, both parents' incomes are taken into account.

The study also examined whether the participants believed that remarriage should change the amount of child support owed. Generally, they did think the noncustodial parent should owe less if the custodial parent had additional resources. However, in reality, remarriage is not taken into account in child support calculations because the child's parents still have responsibility in the eyes of the courts. In most cases, courts do not consider stepparents legally responsible for the support of their stepchildren.

Anyone who is seeking a divorce and has children may choose to contact a family law attorney to help navigate the issue of child support. Divorce is a difficult and sometimes confusing journey, and having children only makes it more complicated. However, a family law attorney may be able to help provide guidance throughout the process.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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