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Child Support

10 Things to Know About Failing To Pay Child Support In Texas

Texas does not tolerate parents who refuse or fail to pay child support. Parents that don’t follow court orders for payment and willfully neglect their duties can face many consequences. Among these are fines, garnishing wages, license suspension, and even jail time. Here are 10 things you should know about failure to pay child support in Texas.

1. Failing to Pay
Can Lead to Jail Time

Texas law does not take failure to pay child support lightly. Going to jail is a real possibility for parents who fail or refuse to make support payments. Not following a court order to pay child support can lead to a contempt of court judgment carrying a penalty of up to 6 months in jail. Texas Penal Code Sec. 25.05 outlines criminal nonsupport which is a state felony offense that can lead to a sentence of 6 months to 2 years in jail.

This statute states “An individual commits an offense if the individual intentionally or knowingly fails to provide support for the individual’s child younger than 18 years of age, or for the individual’s child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.” Tex. Penal Code § 25.05 (1993)

2. Garnished Wages from Your Paycheck

The state can put an income withholding order (IWO) in place to automatically withhold child support payments from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck. When this order is sent to an employer they will adjust the payments and the noncustodial parent will not be able to avoid their child support payments.

child support statistic
child support statistic

3. Revocation of License(s)

The Texas Family Code states that failure to pay child support can lead to the revocation or suspension of any license that has been issued by a Texas agency. This includes driver’s, business, concealed weapon, and hunting licenses.

4. Liens Can Be Placed On Property

Liens can be placed on assets until any child support debt has been paid off. Assets these liens can be placed against include property, bank accounts, retirements plans, and automobiles.

5. Interception of Tax Refunds and
Lottery Winnings

The government can intercept any means of monetary payments from state and federal sources from a parent that owes child support. This includes tax refund checks and lottery winnings.

6. Impacts On Credit Rating

Credit bureaus are alerted by the state of any individuals that are delinquent on their child support payments. In turn, this will negatively impact their credit rating.

7. Ineligible For A Passport

A parent that owes $2,500 or more in child support payments in not eligible to receive a United States passport.

8. The State Lists Evaders On A Website

The Texas Attorney General has a webpage dedicated to listing parents who are delinquent on their child support payments. The page includes the names, number of children, and amount owed by child support evaders.

9. Visitation Is Not Denied
When Support Is Owed

In Texas, child support and child visitation are treated separately. This means that a parent that has unpaid child support is still allowed to see their child.

10. Unpaid Support Doesn’t Go Away

One might think that once a child legally becomes an adult they are no longer liable for unpaid child support payments. This is incorrect. The state can still go after any unpaid child support. These payments will even increase over time as the state also charges interest on late payments.

Modern Family Law

Modern Family Law’s team of experienced Texas family law attorneys takes a compassionate approach to the practice of family law. Using innovative technology to create an effective and efficient process for our clientele, our attorneys approach each case as a collective effort to find the best long-term solutions for each family. For more information please give us a call or fill out a short form online to sign up for a free consultation today! Let us make a positive difference in your life.

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By: MFL Team

Posted September 11, 2023


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