Child custody and support are among the most contentious aspects of family law in Texas. Parents will often engage in a lengthy dispute as to which will have primary custody and how visitation rights are addressed. When there is a child support order, this too can be the foundation for disagreement. The parent ordered to pay support must adhere to the parameters of the order. Failure to do so runs the risk of penalties, some of which can be serious.
Child support enforcement can be complex and it is important to understand what the state can do to compel the supporting parent to pay. The child support order is structured to serve the best interests of the child and ensure they have the proper care to thrive. Failure to pay can cause many problems for the child and the custodial parent. When the payments are late, short or not made at all, the Office of the Attorney General will step in with enforcement.
The supporting parent – the obligor – can have his or her driver’s license suspended. In addition, other types of licenses can be targeted including a professional license, a fishing license and a hunting license. People who try to renew a passport while delinquent on their child support could be denied. Properties, insurance, retirement accounts, bank accounts and most other financial vehicles can have a lien placed on them to recover back child support.
A person’s credit score can be negatively impacted due to being delinquent on their child support payments. Credit reporting agencies may be informed that the individual has not paid child support as required and it could lead to a lower credit score. Those who have won a cash prize from a lottery might have it taken to pay child support. Finally, the situation could escalate until the obligor is found in contempt. This can result in penalties like fines and jail time until the payments are made.
For the child’s sake, it is preferable if the parents can be amicable and adhere to the child support order. Still, challenges may arise that make it necessary to enforce child support orders. To move forward with child support enforcement and get what is owed, it may be wise to have legal advice. Consulting with experienced family law professionals might help with recovering delinquent payments.