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I lost my job because my workplace shut down during the coronavirus crisis. Do I still have to pay child support?

If you lost your job or have less income because your workplace shut down or cut back on your hours or wages during the coronavirus crisis, you still have to pay child support. The Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division says that "Even if you are having trouble making your full payment, it is important to pay as much as you can toward your obligation every month."

While you do still have to pay the same amount that the court ordered, if your ability to pay has changed, you can file a petition to modify the parent-child relationship. See Changing a Custody, Visitation, or Child Support Order. The Harris County Law Library offers this guide to family law research that you can use.

If you are already ordered to pay child support and it is withheld from your paycheck, contact the Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division, which offers this guidance on what to do if your employment situation changes. 

The Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division has put together a COVID-19 resource page that will tell you what to do if you need to involve their office but the courthouse or Attorney General storefront is closed.

Texas courts have held that a decrease in a parent’s salary is a material and substantial change in circumstances. That means it is one reason a court might order a change in the amount of child support you are supposed to pay. The Harris County Law Library has a roadmap for doing your own legal research in family law matters.

Your obligation is to support your child.