Texas child support enforcement focuses on negligent parents

Texas officials use several tactics to enforce child support payments, including the Child Support Evaders Program.

Some Texas divorces may lead to major financial and emotional life transformations, which can make it particularly difficult for any children who are involved. In most cases, the court will order the non-custodial parent to pay child support, as a way to minimize the financial change that occurs in divorcing families with children. While some parents regularly pay child support according to the court-ordered schedule, others are not as compliant in making their payments.

In 2012, the Texas Attorney General’s Office claimed that approximately one million parents were ordered to pay child support, according to the Houston Chronicle. In 2011, nearly 460,000 people were delinquent in their payments, totaling more than $11 billion in unpaid child support funds.

Collecting delinquent child support

According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, unpaid child support funds accrue 6 percent interest each year until they are paid off. There are a number of methods that Texas officials use to collect delinquent child support, including:

  • Withholding wages.
  • Intercepting tax refunds.
  • Suspending or revoking professional licenses.
  • Confiscating lottery winnings.

Negligent parents may also be held in contempt of court for failure to make their court-ordered support payments.

Child support evaders

Parents who are extremely delinquent in their child support payments may find themselves on the Texas Child Support Evaders list. This list names parents who owe more than $5,000 in past due child support funds and have a warrant out for their arrest. Parents who have not made a single support payment in at least six months may also be included on the list. After the custodial parent provides Texas authorities with a picture of the negligent parent, the wanted parent is listed on the child support evader’s website.

A Texas doctor who was added to the Child Support Evader list in 2002 was apprehended at JFK airport in New York City by law enforcement officials. According to KTRE News, the man had failed to pay his court-ordered child support for over a decade and owed more than $420,000 in unpaid funds. The doctor was extradited to Carson County and faces felony charges. If convicted, he may be fined up to $10,000 and remain in jail for two years.

Contact an attorney

Parents have a responsibility and obligation to financially support their children. Custodial parents who wish to seek unpaid child support funds may want to contact a family attorney, who can help walk them through the process. An attorney who has a thorough knowledge of the Texas legal system can increase the likelihood that your child will receive the financial support they deserve.

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