When a person in Texas receives a ruling on how much child support the person is supposed to pay or receive after a relationship has ended, there may be a belief that there shouldn’t be any problems moving forward. One of the most frequent family law issues that ends up in dispute has to do with child support, so when the issue is supposedly settled, the last thing that a parent expects is for the payments to not be paid. That, however, does happen and it’s important for these parents to understand what to do to get the payments that are owed to them.
A recent report has shown that a significant amount of money for child support is often held by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. It is referred to, informally, as “child support purgatory.” In one case, this occurred when the office collected the money from the paycheck of the supporting parent and didn’t send it to the mother. She tried to find out why and was unable to do so. State records have indicated that this is so frequent an occurrence that their coffers swelled to $55 million of child support during the third quarter in 2015 with money that was supposed to be sent to parents. The number has risen by 150 percent since 2011.
A court order can release the money. The office itself has said that they know the money does not belong to them, and they make every attempt to get it to the parents as quickly as they can. The spokesperson for the office says that the state of Texas has collected more in child support than any other state at nearly $4 billion. Reasons for the money being held can include a dispute regarding the child support, who should have custody or if there is not a correct address for the participants. And it seems that the state is not aware of how many families are facing this problem.
Recently, KFOX14 has found that between 2013 and 2017, the State took in at least $3.5 billion in child support. A staggering sum of money and the most in the U.S. during that time period. And with that, they have also found that around 6% of those funds go back to the State of Texas, to reimburse state taxpayers for the costs of public services provided to children in the absence of court ordered child support.
There are numerous family legal issues that can arise when a couple divorces, disagrees on child support and custody or for many other reasons. One of the key factors to a favorable resolution is to have legal help. For those who are facing a problem getting their child support payments from the state’s attorney general or are confronted with any other issue, start with a consultation with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas. Call the GUNNSTAKS Law Firm at 972-590-6572.
Source: KVUE, “Millions of dollars stuck in Texas ‘child support purgatory’,” Andy Pierrotti, Sept. 15, 2015
KFOX14, “Child custody a billion-dollar industry in Texas,” Genevieve Curtis, April 24, 2019