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How does a service member's deployment affect child support?

Many Dallas residents who are actively serving in the military have to be away on deployment if duty calls. This can keep them away from their children and in the case of a divorce or separation, the military usually does not interfere with the jurisdiction of the civil courts.

Under Texas law, child support issues are essentially a family law matter and must be resolved in a civil court. Thus, military personnel must also go through the same legal process as their civilian counterparts. A family law judge looks into the best interests of the child in order to determine child support. Thus, all military personnel involved in a child support case may want to seek the services of experienced family law attorneys in order to represent them in a court of law.

When the military personnel is the non-custodial parent in charge of paying for child support, then the active deployment of the soldier can often affect this. Child support payment awards are usually settled and determined by the court by looking into various aspects of the case including the non-custodial parent's income and the best interests of the child. In cases where the minor child has special medical needs, then the child support payment may need to cover such costs for medical care as well.

Furthermore, the courts also look into the non-custodial parent's disposable income by calculating his or her net income alongside the various debts and financial obligations that the non-custodial parent must meet. In some cases, the military personnel's income also varies with active deployment. In such cases, both parties often consult professional attorneys in order to modify the existing child support order to incorporate the change in the financial circumstance of the non-custodial parent.

Source: Texas Attorney General, "Military parents: Paternity, child support, child custody & parenting time," Accessed July 8, 2015

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