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What happens if I don’t pay child support?

Mar 3, 2021 | Child Support

People across Texas are facing financial challenges right now. People are losing jobs; successful businesses are closing their doors; parents are relying more on childcare when schools close down.

With all these economic obstacles, it can be increasingly difficult to keep up with responsibilities like paying child support. However, falling behind on these payments can lead to some serious consequences.

Support enforcement measures

When a parent does not pay child support in full and on time, the Attorney General’s office can take a number of actions against the parent to enforce an order. It can:

  • Intercept and retain tax refunds and lottery winnings
  • Suspend a person’s professional, recreational and driver’s licenses
  • Deny an application for a passport
  • File a lien on your property, including your home and bank accounts
  • Notifying credit bureau of the delinquency
  • File contempt charges, possibly resulting in fines and jail time

Further, failing to pay child support can create or exacerbate friction between parents. It also means that a child is not receiving the support he or she deserves.

These penalties can be inconvenient, embarrassing and upsetting, which is why avoiding them is crucial.

What if I can’t pay?

If you fall behind or anticipate falling behind on your child support payments, acting sooner rather than later is wise. You can communicate with the other parent and let them know. It is also vital to pay as much as you can on time.

If you expect your financial struggles to be ongoing, seeking a modification of child support can be necessary. The Child Support Review Process, which is a negotiation, or a court hearing will determine whether a new order is acceptable.

Parents typically do not intentionally fall behind on paying child support. However, extenuating circumstances can lead to one missed payment and another. Before you realize it, you could be facing harsh penalties. Thus, tackling child support non-payment issues as soon as possible is crucial.