Punishing the Deadbeat Dad: Child Support in Texas
The State of Texas does not take “deadbeat dads”, or fathers who refuse to pay child support, lightly. In fact, the Office of the Attorney General has a Child Support Division that is dedicated to enforcing the laws surrounding child support in Texas. Not only does the Attorney General’s Office help establish paternity and enforce child support orders, but it also works to locate absent parents and collect delinquent child support payments.
While many single mothers feel encouraged about receiving a child support order from the court, they may discover that the father of their children quickly becomes a deadbeat dad. This father may be under court order to pay child support in Texas, but many such dads look for ways to skip child support payments and subvert their legal obligations. The Child Support Division at the Attorney Generals’ Office uses several measures to enforce court-ordered child support:
- Requiring that the employer of the deadbeat dad deduct the child support from his paycheck by withholding the amount from his wages.
- Intercepting lottery winnings, tax refund checks or any other money that is due from state or federal government sources.
- Filing liens against property or assets owned by the deadbeat dad.
- Suspending driver’s, professional or hunting licenses. Laws dealing with child support in Texas state that deadbeat dads who owe more than three months of past-due child support, and who do not have a voluntary repayment schedule, face mandatory license suspension. Usually the individual will initially be given a warning and an opportunity to remedy the situation prior to suspension.
- Filing a lawsuit against the deadbeat dad and asking a court to enforce the order.
- Sentencing the delinquent parent to jail time and entering a judgment in the amount of past due child support.
The child support law in Texas is not contingent upon which parent has custody of the children; in fact, the Texas Family Code mostly bases its decision on two things: the number of children who need support and the amount of monthly income. A deadbeat dad who is frustrated that the custodial parent is withholding visitation cannot stop child support payments out of retribution, either. At its core, child support in Texas is intended to protect the rights and needs of the children over the desires of the parents.
When you need help enforcing your judgment of child support in Texas, look to Busby & Associates. We are an experienced divorce and family law firm that is ready to help you get the financial support you need from the deadbeat dad in your situation. You will never have to wait for a response from an attorney on our staff; and we are even open for consultations on Saturdays. Why wait for your child support? Call us today at 713-974-1151.