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Child support crucial to getting some children back to school

The ubiquitous school supply list is a staple of childhood, but one that has gotten increasingly lengthy, and expensive in recent years. Whereas children of decades past could get by with a few "Number 2" pencils, a notebook and a folder or two, today's child needs markers, crayons, folders, paper, tissues, hand sanitizer, classroom snacks, dry erase markers, colored pencils and more, not to mention clothes and shoes. As supply demands have increased in recent years, it has become more important than ever for custodial parents struggling to make ends meet to receive timely child support before their children head back to school.

No parent should ever have to make the choice between buying school supplies and putting food on the table or paying utilities. Unfortunately, if their child's non-custodial parent doesn't pay child support, that might be the reality for countless Texas families. Thankfully, there is help available.

In particular, the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office is available to assist with a range of support-related matters, including the establishment of paternity, locating non-custodial parents, establishment of child support (and medical support) orders, modifications, and enforcement of court orders. In 2013 alone, the Texas Attorney General's Office collected and distributed more than $3.6 billion in back child support.

The benefits of regular child support payments go far beyond the ability to purchase school necessities, though. It is said that parents who regularly pay child support are more involved in their children's lives. That added involvement has a slew of positive benefits for the children, including added self-confidence, better decision-making (leading to decreased chances of teen pregnancy or drug use) and better self-control. Children who regularly receive support also have fewer behavioral problems, stay in school longer and make better grades than those who don't have consistent support.

Source: Fort Bend Herald, "Paying child support a must," August 12, 2014. 

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