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Texas school board member criticized for unpaid child support

When parents divorce in Texas, the law is clear regarding their obligations to the children. The law may be brought to bear in cases where child support enforcement becomes a problem, although sometimes delinquent payments can pose a problem for non-paying parents in other ways.

For example, one man was recently elected to the local school board in a town south of Dallas. He has since acknowledged to the media that he owes over $45,000 in child support. Now, a parent of a student in the community is questioning whether it's appropriate for this individual to hold a position of authority over local children, given his failure to meet his own child support obligations.

The newly elected school board member defends his position, noting that he is working with authorities in Texas to try to pay back his debt and that he has never been in a financial situation where he could make his required monthly payments. The parent, however, argues that parents have to go through background checks to volunteer with the school, expressing frustration that a school board candidate was not similarly vetted. He is starting a petition to recall the board member.

While the school board member in this instance expresses regret for his situation and a willingness to pay, it is important to recognize that parents do have legal options available to them long before child support debt reaches this point. A child support modification may be available when a parent's financial conditions change, perhaps if one loses a job, for example. Texas courts will work with parents to try to ensure that the child's needs are met and that a support agreement is workable and sustainable.

Parents considering their options with regard to child support enforcement or seeking a child support modification may wish to consult with a legal professional. Texas law affords parents certain rights, but ultimately will view the child's right to adequate support as the paramount concern.

Source: KWTX, "Parent: Recall WISD Board Member Who Owes $45K In Child Support," Matt Howerton, May 20, 2014

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