Unpaid Child Support Prevalent Problem, But Remedies Available in Texas

Every parent has a responsibility to financially contribute to the upbringing of his or her children. Supporting one's children is not only a moral obligation, it is a duty codified in Texas law.

Unfortunately, a surprising number of parents do not receive the full amount of child support they are entitled to from former partners. Sometimes it takes the assistance of a Texas family law attorney for parents to collect the child support they need in order to ensure a comfortable standard of living for their kids.

Most Parents Do Not Receive Full Child Support Payments

According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Census bureau, only 46.8 percent of parents who are owed child support receive the full amount they are due. Approximately one-third of the parents who are owed child support receive only partial payments, while nearly a quarter receive no support at all.

Across the U.S., over $12.7 billion of owed child support goes unpaid in a typical year. While some custodial parents shrug off their losses, unsure of where to turn, others take advantage of the powerful legal enforcement mechanisms potentially at their disposal.

Collecting Child Support in Texas

Every U.S. state and territory is required by federal law to have an Office of Child Support Enforcement. In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General is the official child support enforcement agency.

The Texas Attorney General's Office can help custodial parents in a number of ways. Still, many individuals turn to private child support attorneys to bolster their odds of a successful recovery action.

There are several types of legal remedies that can help parents collect on child support obligations. Money can be withheld directly from a delinquent parent's paycheck through a wage garnishment action, certain funds (such as tax refunds or workers' compensation payments) can be intercepted by the state to pay off child support debts, or the non-payer's property can be seized or fitted with a lien to secure delinquent payments. Additionally, in some circumstances, a parent who is behind on child support can have his or her passport/government licenses suspended, be censured publicly through placement on the Texas Child Support Evader list, or even face criminal prosecution.

Legal Assistance

There are two important measures you should take to ensure you are able to collect the past-due child support you are owed. First, maintain immaculate child support records, including documentation that shows what your child support arrangement is, what has been paid and what obligations are outstanding. Second, get in touch with a qualified child support attorney who can help you exercise your legal right to receive child support payments.