High Caliber Legal Service

Delinquent child support: getting your co-parent to pay up

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Family Law |

If your co-parent fails to pay child support, your child’s quality of life may suffer. Because the court issues child support orders, there are legal consequences for a parent who does not comply with them.

The Office of the Texas State Attorney General has the authority to enforce child support orders. There are several tools available at its disposal to collect the money that your child needs from your co-parent.

Credit bureau reporting

By law, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) must report to the credit bureaus the amount of child support that your co-parent owes. It must also report the amount that he or she has paid. If your co-parent’s delinquent child support is reported to the credit bureaus, it could lower their credit score by more than 100 points.

Contempt of court

Violation of a court order may result in charges of contempt. These may be either civil or criminal in nature. Criminal contempt could compel your co-parent to pay the entire amount that he or she owes or a certain “purge” amount. Your co-parent could also serve a jail sentence pending his or her compliance with the order. A civil contempt case could result in a fine.

License suspension

Failure to pay child support could mean a loss of your co-parent’s driver’s license, professional license and recreational licenses related to fishing and hunting. The OAG can accomplish this because of arrangements it has made with over 60 licensing agencies. Although a passport is not a license, it is still within the power of the OAG to either deny your co-parent a new passport or prevent him or her from renewing an existing one.

Liens

Your co-parent may have assets in the form of insurance settlements, life insurance policies, personal injury claims, bank accounts, retirement plans or properties. If your co-parent does not pay child support, the OAG can file liens against these assets. This gives the OAG the right to seize the property to satisfy the child support obligation.

If your co-parent has violated the terms of the child support order, you can file a motion of enforcement to request that the court take action. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the process.

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