Texas methods used to find delinquent child support funds
Parents have an obligation to financially and emotionally support their children, regardless of whether those parents are married, separated or divorced. In many divorce cases, the non-custodial parent is ordered to pay child support in order to meet the financial needs of their children. While many Texas parents diligently make their child support payments each month, there are a substantial number of parents who refuse to do so. Some situations may necessitate the use of child support enforcement methods.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Texas parents owed $11 billion in unpaid child support funds in 2011. Custodial parents who do not receive their court-ordered child support payments on a regular basis may have difficulties making ends meet. Some negligent parents have the financial ability to make the child support payments, but simply refuse to do so. Other parents may have experienced a significant life change, making it hard for them to meet their financial obligations. In this case, a child support modification may be available.
Finding lost child support funds
According to the Texas Child Support Division, parents who fall behind in their child support payments may be subjected to the following methods of enforcement:
- Wage withholding, where an employer takes the child support payment out of the non-custodial parent’s paycheck.
- Non-custodial parents may have a lien filed against their assets or property.
- Non-custodial parents may have their professional, fishing or hunting licenses suspended if they are more than three months past due on their payments.
- Non-custodial parents may have their lottery winnings intercepted, as well as their state or federal income tax refunds.
- Non-custodial parents may be held in contempt of court and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.
Parents who are obligated to pay child support and owe an excessive amount of past due funds may be entered into the Child Support Evaders program. Other parents, who have lost their jobs or suffer from diminished wages, may receive assistance through the modification process.
Child Support Evaders
In an attempt to collect delinquent child support funds from parents who are extremely negligent in their payments, the Texas Attorney General’s Office created the Child Support Evaders program. This program solicits help from the public in locating parents who owe more than $5,000, have a warrant out for their arrest and have not made a child support payment for at least six months. The custodial parent must sign a waiver allowing state officials to use the delinquent parent’s information and picture in hopes of locating him or her. The program has been extremely successful in capturing parents who are negligent in financially supporting their children.
Establishing legal counsel
Whether you are seeking child support enforcement as a way to get past due financial support from a negligent parent, or you need help in modifying your child support order to reflect a change in life, an attorney can help. The legal process in Texas can be overwhelming. A knowledgeable attorney can help to walk you through the process and ensure that your children receive everything they are entitled to.