Ensuring that children receive child support as ordered by the family law court to meet their needs is important. For that reason, it is important for parents to be familiar with the ways that child support orders are enforced.
How child support orders are enforced
Parents should keep current on child support payments whenever possible. Failure to pay child support can result in child support enforcement measures against them. There are several tools that can be used to enforce child support in Texas including:
- License suspension: Driver’s, professional, hunting and fishing licenses can all be suspended for failure to pay child support.
- Passport denial: A parent who has failed to pay child support may have their passport application or renewal denied.
- Liens: Liens may be placed on the non-paying parent’s properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance plans, personal injury claims insurance settlements or awards.
- Credit bureau reporting: Unpaid child support is reported to credit reporting agencies.
- Lottery intercepts: Lottery winnings can be intercepted and applied to unpaid child support or medical and dental support that is owed for the child.
- Civil or criminal contempt: Civil and criminal contempt proceedings can be brought resulting in fines or jail time for parents who fail to pay child support.
Child support enforcement measures help ensure children receive the financial support they need. Child support enforcement tools can be helpful for parents seeking to collect child support but other family law resources, including possible child support modification options, may be able to help parents struggling to pay child support. It is important for parents to understand the full range of family law resources available to them.