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Collecting Past-Due Child Support

Often, a non-custodial parent fails to timely make court-ordered child support payments.  The failure to pay can cause serious financial hardship for the custodial parent and the children.  This week's blog post is the first of a two-part series outlining the tools the custodial parent can use to collect the past-due child support and ensure that future child support payments are made timely.


Failure to pay child support timely subjects a non-custodial parent to being held in contempt and sentenced to jail.  The custodial parent must file an enforcement action alleging each specific violation.  Following personal service of the motion upon the non-custodial parent, a hearing is held in which the Court determines whether the noncustodial parent is in contempt and what the sentence should be.  This is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked.  Most non-custodial parents prefer to timely make payments instead of reside in the county "cross-bar hotel".  


The Court generally signs an Order that requires any employer of the non-custodial parent to withholding the child support from the employee's paycheck and send it to the state child support disbursement unit for distribution to the custodial parent. The amounts withheld can also include payments toward any past-due amounts. If The non-custodial parent works for an employer and the identity and location of the employer are known to the custodial parent, this is a fairly smooth and simple way of collecting child support.    


Any non-exempt property owned by the noncustodial parent is subject to a child support lien.  A lien is a legal procedure that blocks the asset from being sold to any third party.  Upon proper notice, the property can then be legally transferred to the custodial parent in satisfaction of the child support arrearage, through a legal process known as "levy".  In Texas, the only non-exempt property is a homestead.

If the other parent is behind on child support, you have available remedies.  Having an aggresive advocate on your side will help you collect the child support money you deserve.  Christiansen Law Firm has extensive experience collecting past due child support, and can assist you.  The family law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm can help ensure that you are able to financially provide for your family.  Contact the attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm for advice and assistance.



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