As of last Friday, Texas has implemented a new law that holds intoxicated drivers responsible for providing child support if they cause a fatal accident that leaves a child without a parent or guardian, NY Post reported. This legislation, also known as Bentley’s Law (Texas House Bill 393), was filed on November 14, 2020, and signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 2, 2021.
“Any time a parent passes is tragic, but a death at the hands of a drunk driver is especially heinous,”
the Republican governor wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I was proud to sign HB 393 into law this year to require offenders to pay child support for the children of their victims.”
Under the newly enacted law, individuals convicted of intoxicated manslaughter will be responsible for child support until the child reaches either 18 years of age or completes their high school education.
“[T]he court shall determine an amount to be paid monthly for the support of the child until the child reaches 18 years of age or has graduated from high school, whichever is later,”
the text reads.
The child support amount is determined by various factors such as the child’s education, medical expenses, and reasonable childcare costs. The child’s accustomed standard of living is also taken into account. If someone is unable to make payments due to being in jail, they may be able to arrange a payment plan.
“[T]he defendant shall begin payments not later than the first anniversary of the date of the defendant’s release from the facility,”
the law states.
“The defendant may enter into a payment plan to address any arrearage that exists on the date of the defendant’s release.”
#Clique, what are your thoughts?