Separated parents who struggle financially to raise their children face particular challenges when the other parent fails to pay child support as ordered by the Court. Often, these parents are frustrated and think there is no solution. In reality, however, Texas law provides several powerful tools for effective collection of child support. Today's blog will summarize five of the most powerful legal tools available for collecting child support.
If the non-custodial parent is working for an employer, the employer will be ordered to withhold the child support from the non-custodial parent's paycheck and send the money directly to the Texas State Child Support Disbursement Unit. The amount withheld can include an amount established by the Court for payment of child support arrears, in addition to the current monthly child support amount. Child support orders require each parent to notify the other parent of any changes to employment, including the new employer's name, address and telephone number. Failure to timely provide the employment information subjects the parent to penalties of contempt, including jail time.
Contempt of Court
If a non-custodial parent fails to timely make child support payments, the Court can hold the errant parent in contempt of court, and sentence the parent to jail. This powerful remedy is available until two years after the youngest child's emancipation (generally, the 18th birthday).
The Court can order judicial foreclosure on any non-exempt real estate owned, or partially owned, by a child support debtor. The proceeds of the sale of the property are then distributed to the custodial parent to satisfy the child support arrears.
Suspension of licenses
The child support debtor is subject to the suspension of any and all government issued licenses, including driver's licenses, professional licenses, restaurant licenses, hunting licenses, etc. The threat of a license suspension can highly motivate child support debtors to catch up on the child support arrears.
Collection of judgment
If a Court has determined the amount of child support arrears owed, the Court will sign a judgment confirming that amount due. Once this has happened, the custodial parent can request that the Sheriff's Department sieze all non-exempt property owned by the debtor. The property is then sold at auction and the proceeds distributed to the custodial parent. Almost all property in Texas is non-exempt, which makes this a powerful child support collection tool.
If you are a custodial parent in need of collecting past due child support, you should consider vigorougly pursuing child support collection. The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have years of experience collecting past due child support. For additional information, contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in San Antonio or Houston for a free case evaluation.