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What are the methods Texas uses for child support enforcement?

When parents in Texas share a child but are not together as a couple, often one parent will have custody with the other parent having to pay child support. However, it is a common issue that the supporting parent does not pay what is owed on time and in full. If the payments are not made, the supporting parent will be subjected to various enforcement tactics on the part of the State. Both the custodial parent and the supporting parent need to be cognizant of how child support enforcement goes about getting the payments or assesses penalties for nonpayment.

If the child support obligor does not make payments, judgments and interest are part of the process. When there is a judgment of delinquent support, the obligor will owe the principal amount due as well as interest on that principal. The judgment will accrue simple interest annually until it is paid. This interest will be viewed as part of the child support order and it will be collectable in the same way.

Liens and foreclosures are also a possibility. All of the real and personal property the supporting parent has is subject to being attached as part of the attempt to get delinquent payments. Included will be stocks, bonds, bank accounts, proceeds from insurance, retirement accounts, and vehicles.

The Office of the Attorney General will receive this information on a regular basis from financial institutions and insurers regarding the accounts so the liens can be placed. An employer can also be ordered to attach either wages or workers' compensation as part of the lien.

With delinquent payments, the obligor can also face penalties for contempt of court. A supporting parent is allowed to have a legal defense and a jury trial if the punishment can end with more than 180 days.

Parents who are not paying the required child support can face multiple penalties as a result. If either the supporting or the receiving parent are in need of a modification or assistance with the legal issues that arise with child support enforcement, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney.

Source:, "Child Support -- Criminal Nonsupport Handbook -- Enforcing Support," accessed on Jan. 11, 2016

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