Texas takes the failure to pay child support seriously and aggressively pursues a variety of remedies to ensure child support orders are complied with.
All new or modified child support orders are subject to an automatic wage withholding order. As long as the party ordered to pay support continues working there is no issue in collecting. However, not all people maintain regular employment; some are self-employed and some earn income not subject to withholding.
Filing a Motion of Enforcement
The party to whom child support is owed can request the assistance of the child enforcement division who can file the motion on behalf of the custodial parent. You can also hire your own Bryan child support attorney to help you. The granting of the motion either through proof of the child support order or by failure of the non-custodial parent to appear at the hearing can lead to a court order for enforcement. Any tax refunds, lottery winnings or asset sale proceeds can then be intercepted and paid to the custodial parent.
Potential Jail Time
A failure to pay an order for child support is considered contempt of court and exposes the individual to a fine and up to six months in jail for a first offense. Repeat offenders who owe significant amounts face years in prison and heavy fines.
In addition, the delinquent parent faces the suspension of their driver’s license, hunter’s license, fishing license, as well as professional licenses such as dental, medical and legal. The Office of the Attorney General will send a warning letter first, advising the individual of the consequences of nonpayment. If the arrears are not rectified or some effort made to establish a repayment plan, the attorney general will refer the matter to the proper licensing body for adjudication.
Judgments for child support attach to real property and personal property. However, only non-exempt property can be attached. Exempt property includes items such as one’s residence, automobile and other necessities of life.