When you and your former spouse proceed with a divorce, the court order usually clearly states the details about custody of your children, child support, and visitation rights. While the order clearly indicates the amount of support to be paid and when it is to be paid, some parents fail to follow through with their required child support. Texas laws have several ways that parents can be encouraged, or if necessary, forced to comply with their legal commitment to support their children. If your ex isn’t paying child support as they should, you can ask for help from the Texas Attorney General’s Office Child Support Division.
Here are some ways that the Child Support Division can help ensure you get the child support your ex spouse is supposed to pay:
Withheld from paycheck – Any orders for child support from Texas courts contain provisions for withholding the required payments from the income of the spouse. Often, there are income-withholding orders requiring the employer of the paying spouse to take the ordered amount of child support directly from the paycheck. If the employer doesn’t withhold the child support payments, the parent is still responsible for paying the right amount of child support on time.
Delinquency – If the ex-spouse doesn’t make the child support payments on time, interest will accrue on all past-due payments. Even when the ex-spouse isn’t fulfilling court orders, you must still fulfill yours. You cannot keep your ex-spouse from having visitation with the children. According to the courts, visitation and child support are two separate issues. Visitation privileges aren’t granted in exchange for paying child support.
State help – The Child Support Enforcement Division is responsible for enforcing child support orders. The attorneys employed by this office can help you by enforcing child support orders and by collecting any past-due child support. You will need to contact your local field office to receive services. You can contact them in person, by phone, or online, and you will need to complete an application for services. If you already receive state assistance, you will get child support collection services without needing to request them.
Options for enforcement – When you use the Texas Attorney General to help you collect past-due child support, you cannot select which enforcement actions are used. There are several different ways the Child Support Enforcement Division might proceed with the collection process. They could file a lien on the assets or property of your ex-spouse, suspend professional licenses or their driver’s license, or even intercept any tax refunds. If the judge finds one of the parents in contempt of court or in non-compliance of a court order, he or she could face jail time.
There are several different ways that child support can be collected from your ex-spouse. With the proper legal help and guidance, you can get access to the child support that the court ordered to ensure your child gets all the funds that he or she needs for their care and to have access to life’s necessities.
The family law lawyers at Fears Nachawati have helped many families navigate the tricky and emotionally challenging legal waters when it comes to divorce and child support and having a compassionate and knowledgeable professional on your side can make all the difference during this trying time.
For your free, no-obligation legal consultation, please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.