Someone who has not made child support payments in Texas could lose a driver’s license, see less on a paycheck and even spend time in jail.
In October of this year, the Texas Attorney General’s Office announced that 14 parents had been arrested in Lubbock County due to failing to pay child support. According to Lubbock Online, the parents had been given numerous chances to make those payments. In some cases, parents were arrested because they failed to appear in court for a hearing regarding the support.
The article notes that these parents could be in jail for as long as six months. This illustrates just one of the following ways that Texas enforces child support payments:
1. Public identification
The Texas Attorney General’s Office has a program known as the Child Support Evaders through which photographs of the person who has failed to make payments will be made public. Only parents who meet the following requirements are considered an evader:
- There has been a warrant issued for their arrest.
- They owe more than $5,000 in delinquent payments.
- They have not made regular payments in the last six months.
- They are avoiding apprehension.
- They are not on welfare or going through bankruptcy.
Additionally, the custodial parent will have to sign a document granting permission for the case to be made public.
2. Wage withholding
A court may order someone’s employer to deduct his or her paycheck for the child support owed. Texas Law Help points out that every child support order has an income withholding aspect to it, though parents may initially be permitted to make payments on their own. However, once they fall behind on an amount equal to a full month’s payment, the withholding will begin.
3. Suspending a license
Another way Texas can penalize noncustodial parents who have not made payments is to suspend their licenses. This can include a driver’s license, a hunting and fishing license or another professional license, such as a license to practice medicine.
4. Intercepting funds
The Texas Child Support Division may also intercept certain funds that the noncustodial parent receives. Lottery winnings and federal income taxes, for example, are eligible for interception. The Attorney General’s Office reports that any money that comes from a federal or state source could be subject to this process as well.
5. Filing a lawsuit
A court could be asked through a lawsuit to enforce its child support order. A judge is then able to ender a judgment and even sentence the parent to jail. As exhibited by the roundup of more than a dozen Texas parents in the story above, this is a very real threat for people who are delinquent in making payments.
To learn more about how Texas enforces child support, people should contact an experienced attorney.