An unfortunate fact of life for many divorced or separated parents is child support, the process by which one parent provides another with a regular payment that should go towards the raising of a child. Sadly, far too many parents avoid making these payments, thus setting themselves up for significant financial and legal penalties.
What Happens When a Parent Fails to Pay Child Support
If you fail to make regular child support payments in Texas, you face numerous problems. The first and most important one is that your child doesn’t get the resources they need to live a quality life. Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General can take action to enforce the child support order.
Penalties on the person who owes the money include a variety of possibilities, including:
Interception of paychecks, lottery winnings, tax refunds, or stimulus checks
Suspension of professional or driver licenses
Liens on property, bank accounts, and retirement accounts
A negative impact on your credit score
Denial of a passport
If repeated violations are an issue, it is possible to face a charge of criminal contempt. These are usually an option of last resort, but yes, criminal charges are possible for failure to make child support payments. Furthermore, moving out of state does not free you of your obligation to pay child support, as all agreements are enforceable regardless of where you move in the country.
That is not to say that child support payments are locked in stone. If your financial situation changes and you are unable to make previously agreed-upon payments, you may apply to the Attorney General’s office to have your payment order modified if you and your ex can find an agreeable solution. This will allow you to continue payments in a reduced form and ensure that you continue to comply with any court order and provide your child with the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life.
Obtain Sound Legal Guidance
If you or a loved one are having problems with child support payments, we encourage you to contact the Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo. Our office can help you navigate the child support system and make sure you get a fair resolution to your child support issue.
Call our Austin child support lawyer today at (210) 405-6623.