TX officials take action against parents who fail to pay child support

Texas has strict regulations regarding the collection and enforcement of child support, including a program to collect delinquent child support funds.

Children deserve to have the emotional and financial support of both parents, regardless of whether those parents are married or separated. Court ordered child support is a way to help maintain that financial support after parents decide to end their marriage. According to the Houston Chronicle, over one million Texas residents are required to make child support payments; however, approximately 460,000 people failed to pay their child support, leaving their children without the funds they need and deserve.

Approximately 48 percent of single parents left without financial support from the non-custodial parent are forced into poverty. One woman worked two jobs while raising her two boys after the children's' father fled to Mexico in order to avoid paying child support. As of 2012, the man owed more than $178,000 in delinquent child support funds. Not only does failure to pay child support affect the custodial parent, but it ultimately makes life harder for the innocent children involved.

Negligent child support

A Houston Chronicle report states that the excessive amount of delinquent child support payments in Texas may be the result of a fluctuating economy, which has caused many people to lose their jobs. Some non-custodial parents simply don't have the money to make their payments each month. Yet, people who experience a major life change may be eligible to have their child support amounts amended in certain circumstances.

How are delinquent funds collected?

Texas state officials will stop at nothing to collect unpaid child support from negligent parents and return those funds to the children. The obligator may have funds taken out of their paychecks, lottery winnings or tax refunds. Parents who owe child support may have their professional licenses suspended as well.

When non-custodial parents get behind in their child support payments, a six percent interest is added to the total amount of child support owed each year until the amount is paid off, according to the Texas Attorney General. The unpaid amount also attaches itself to the negligent party's bank accounts, insurance proceeds, vehicles, retirement accounts, stocks and personal possessions.

Child support evaders program

The Texas Attorney General has developed the Child Support Evaders program in an attempt to locate parents who are severely negligent in paying their child support funds. In order to be placed on the Child Support Evaders list, parents must:

  • Have an arrest warrant issued.
  • Have a delinquent child support amount of $5,000 or higher.
  • Be at least six months delinquent in making a child support payments.
  • Be avoiding apprehension by the police.

The custodial parent must sign a confidentiality waiver, allowing law enforcement to publically post information regarding the case. They must also supply a current photography of the evader.

Contact an attorney

Custodial parents who are struggling to obtain child support payments from the non-custodial parent may want to consider contacting an attorney. A family law attorney with extensive knowledge of Texas's child support regulations can help guide you through the legal process, and increase the likelihood that you will obtain the delinquent child support amount.

Keywords: divorce, custody, child support