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Obama's rule on child support modification still in place

Parents in Texas who owe child support might be interested in learning that, so far, Donald Trump has not overturned a new rule Barack Obama put into place on Jan. 19 regarding child support. The regulation says that states must allow parents who are incarcerated file for modifications in child support based on a change in circumstances.

While some states already allowed this, others did not, and it often led to a cycle of incarceration where parents were unable to keep up with their child support payments while in prison because they had no incomes and were unable to pay the accumulated debt. Upon being returned to prison, their debts only mounted higher. Although the U.S. Supreme Court found that parents' rights of due process might have been violated by the process, a number of states continued to deny inmates the opportunities to request modifications. Those states considered an incarcerated person to be voluntarily unemployed.

A 2006 study found that 70 percent of parents who were late in paying child support had annual incomes of $10,000 or less. The average child support obligation was more than 80 percent of their incomes. While child support can be critical for custodial parents who live in poverty, the rule is supported by the National Child Support Enforcement Association.

Texas has formulas for determining child support. Parents may want to make legally binding child support agreements because this gives them a legal framework for recovering unpaid support. For example, a parent's wages could be garnished. If a parent loses a job or has another major life change that means he or she will be unable to keep paying the same amount, he or she will continue to owe that amount until a modification is filed and approved.

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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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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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