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What should I know about child support orders and enforcement?

| Aug 4, 2020 | Child Support

In a Texas family law case in which children are involved, child support is an issue that often arises. It is imperative for the support order to be followed, but there are times when challenges come up making it difficult for the paying parent to make the required payments to the custodial parent. This will inevitably cause difficulty for the custodial parent. It can be cyclical. While discussing the case and coming to an agreement is possible with a modification for the short or long term, the state must sometimes get involved and enforce the child support order.

Understanding what can be done for child support enforcement

Given the current health situation across the nation, many people are losing their jobs and facing medical expenses. This makes child support critical. When contacting the Attorney General to move forward with enforcement actions, there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure the payments are made. These actions are not done to punish the paying parent, but to make certain that the custodial parent receives what is owed and the child gets the adequate care as determined by the support agreement and the state guidelines.

A license suspension is a basic way to compel the supporting parent to pay. This includes a driver’s license, but can go beyond it. It may be a professional license, a fishing license and a hunting license as well. Many people need to drive to do their job. Others have a professional license without which they cannot perform their duties. This can be an effective way to get the payments for child support.

Passport denial is also a tactic in which the state will try to convince a supporting parent to make the payments. When applying for a new passport or renewing an existing passport, child support in arrears might result in the request being denied. Liens on property are used in child support cases. This can include any property including a bank account, a retirement plan, personal injury settlements and other assets.

Credit scores are integral in society and the state will inform a credit bureau that the person is not paying what is owed in child support, negatively impacting their credit score. This can make it difficult to secure a loan to buy a home or an automobile and reduce credit lines. While it may be unusual, a person who has won a lottery can have that award intercepted to make the child support payments.

Finally, a person who has failed to make the payments as ordered can be jailed. This occurs when the paying parent – the obligor – is found in contempt. He or she will remain in jail until the payments are made.

Is a modification possible?

A change in circumstances can warrant a modification. If the order was made or changed more than three years earlier, it is possible to request that it be adjusted. A difference in the monthly amount based on the guidelines can also lead to a change. The circumstances are fundamental to getting a modification. Those whose income has substantially decreased on increased, people who have other children to support, or if there was a change to the medical insurance can all justify a modification.

Experienced family law attorneys can provide legal assistance

Although the preferable method of dealing with child support arrears is to simply pay it, there are instances when it is not possible due to medical issues and job loss. To address past due child support from the perspective of the custodial parent or the supporting parent, it is essential to have a firm grounding in the law. A firm that has experience is all areas of Texas family law can be of assistance to deal with child support. Calling for a consultation and legal representation should be done as soon as possible.

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