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Child Support Enforcement in Texas

When it comes to child support enforcement, the Texas Attorney General provides a number of resources for parents looking for help, especially in securing child support from a non-paying, non-custodial parent. Just because the parent is unwilling to pay or has relocated, that does not mean that child support laws cannot be enforced to the fullest extent of the law. Non-custodial parents who have been ordered to pay child support are legally required to do so through regular payments to the family no matter where that parent happens to be living.

In a situation where the parent who is non-custodial has decided not to pay child support, or has gotten behind on re-payment of child support, then he or she is going to be subject to Texas child support enforcement measures which are taken when regular child support payments, as well as past due child support payments have to be collected. There is a Texas Child Support Division which can utilize a variety of different techniques in order to enforce the law when it comes to child support orders, which include any and all of the following practices:

  • They may require that employers deduct the court mandated child support amounts from the paycheck of the non-custodial parent by way of wage withholding,
  • They may intercept income tax refund payments from the federal government as well as lottery winnings and any other money from federal and state sources based on what is due,
  • They may file liens against the property or the other assets of the parent who is non-custodial,
  • They may suspend professional licenses, driver’s licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses and other types of license,
  • They may go so far as to file a lawsuit for the parent who is non-custodial so that they can ask the court for assistance in enforcing the child support order and the law surrounding it.

A judge can even sentence a parent who is refusing to or unable to pay child support to a period of time in jail, and they can enter a judgment that forces the non-paying, non-custodial parent to catch up with the amount of past due payments for the child support.

Both parents have to be able to provide for their child, and it does not matter which of the two parents currently has the primary level of custody in the relationship. Child support is typically going to be paid to the parent that currently has custody for the purpose of benefiting the child or children between the two parents. Legal custody can be changed or modified, but it requires that both parents agree to go to court together and make modifications to the previous order for child support. This action will establish a new amount of child support to be paid by whichever parent is now the parent who is non-custodial. Simply taking custody of the child does not allow a parent to avoid paying child support, since both parents are expected to contribute financially to the benefit of the child.

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