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Child support involves payments made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. These payments are to help ensure that both parents are providing financial support for their child in order to meet the child’s needs. As such, you can probably understand why Texas courts do not take well when a parent fails to meet their child support obligation. The potential penalties for non-payment are steep.

Texas Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

Sometimes, child support payments roll in on a consistent and timely basis. Other times, the inconsistency of payments is a perpetual problem. For a parent to be habitually delinquent in their child support payments, Texas courts will use a variety of enforcement mechanisms and they are tough, to say the least.

In order to recoup missed child support payments, the Texas Attorney General’s office is empowered to take necessary measures to see to it that the custodial parent gets the financial support they need. For instance, the state can garnish paychecks in order to recover past due child support. Should the delinquent parent win the lottery, the state can go through the Texas Comptroller’s office in order to intercept winnings need to cover past due child support. The state is also able to recover such funds through intercepting tax refunds.

In addition to utilizing these mechanisms to recover overdue child support payments, there are a number of penalties that the Texas Attorney General’s office can employ in order to encourage the non-custodial parent to make good on their child support obligation. For starters, they can suspend the driver’s license, including a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), for nonpayment of child support. The Attorney General’s office can also reach out to 60 different state agencies in order to have professional licenses as well as hunting and fishing licenses suspended.

A lien may also be filed against almost any asset owed by the non-custodial parent. This includes placing a lien on a home, financial account, life insurance policy, business, and any other asset that holds recoverable value. When a lien is put in place, it will not be removed until the lien is paid. In addition to a lien, the Attorney General’s office can report overdue child support as an adverse entry in a credit report. This can have significant adverse consequences on the parent’s credit score.

Should a parent owe over $2,500 in past due child support, the Attorney General’s office can prevent them from obtaining a passport. In some cases, a parent may even be found in contempt of court. This can mean jailtime for up to 6 months.

Sometimes, a parent will fall on hard times and has legitimate reasons for not meeting child support obligations. The parent may have lost their job or their business has faced difficulties. They may be struggling with health problems or have increased expenses related to the care of other dependents. In the event that a child support paying parent has a change in circumstances, they should seek modification of the child support order as soon as possible to avoid non-payment and the adverse consequences that can follow.

Family Law Attorneys

Do you need to seek modification of a child support order? Do not delay in reaching out to our team at Navarrete & Schwartz. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.