Texas child support enforcement methods

Texas officials have ways of claiming unpaid child support from parents who are delinquent in making payments. Call Mysti Murphy at 210-807-8227.

When parents file for divorce in Texas, they are still obligated to financially support their children. In an attempt to bridge the financial gap that may occur when parents separate, Texas courts often order the non-custodial parent to pay child support. Texas bases the amount of child support owed on a percentage of that parent's income. While many non-custodial parents in Texas are diligent in providing the court-ordered funds necessary to support their children, there are a significant number of parents who are delinquent in making their payments. Not only can that make it difficult for the custodial parent to provide a healthy and safe environment for the child, but the child may ultimately suffer from a lack of funding.

Approximately one million parents across Texas are ordered to pay child support. However, over 460,000 people do not make their regular payments. According to the Houston Chronicle, these unpaid funds equated to over $11 billion in 2011, and this amount continues to grow.

Ways to collect unpaid support

Texas officials have several different ways of collecting unpaid child support funds in order to return the money to the children who need and deserve it. According to Texas statutes, officials are allowed to withhold delinquent child support funds from the non-custodial parents' wages, lottery winnings or tax refunds. The state may also choose to suspend the delinquent parent's professional license in an attempt to claim unpaid funds. People who have accumulated a large amount of unpaid child support may find themselves on Texas's most wanted evaders list. In some cases, the child support order may need a modification.

Most-wanted evaders

The Child Support Evaders program focuses on finding the whereabouts of parents who are delinquent in paying their court-ordered child support. According to the Texas Attorney General's office, a parent can be listed on the evaders list if they meet the following conditions:

  • They have a warrant out for their arrest.
  • They have at least $5,000 in unpaid child support funds.
  • They are hiding out and avoiding apprehension.
  • They have not made a child support payment within the last six months.
  • They have not filed for bankruptcy.

In addition to these requirements, the custodial parent seeking child support must sign a confidentiality waiver giving permission to make the information public. The custodial parent must also provide law enforcement officials with a picture of the parent not paying child support

Seeking legal assistance

Whether you are seeking to obtain back child support payments owed or you need your child support order modified to reflect a change in finances, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney. A Texas lawyer may be able to help you explore your legal options when it comes to setting, maintaining and enforcing your court-ordered child support obligations.

Keywords: divorce, child support, enforcement