What Happens in Texas When You Fail to Pay Child Support?

Wealthy or not, parents understand that raising a child can cut into their savings and income. Although starting and expanding a family is not always carefully planned for financially, when parents split due to separation or divorce, the financial support of a child or children needs to be addressed. Obtaining a child support order is often necessary, and when a parent is required to pay child support, this obligation must continually be met.

What happens in Texas when one fails to pay child support? Failing to pay child support can have serious consequences. To begin, when a parent fails or refuses to pay child support, this can result in jail time of up to two years and thousands of dollars in fines. One’s licenses can also be revoked or suspended. This includes a driver’s license, business license, license to carry and conceal a handgun, and even hunting and fishing licenses.

In order to address the failed or delinquent payments, the state can begin garnishing one’s wages to fulfill a child support obligation. It is also possible for the government to step in and intercept tax refunds and lottery winnings if one is behind in child support. This could also result in a lien being placed on the property such as real property, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement plans, and other assets if one is in arrears. A lien will remain until the debt is satisfied.

It is also important to note that one is not eligible to obtain a passport if they owe more than $2,500 in past-due child support. Being in arrears can affect one’s credit score, and being incarcerated does not put a stop to one’s obligation to pay child support. Past due child support never goes away, meaning a parent could be dealing with delinquent child support payments long after his or her child has become an adult. While past due child support can seriously affect everyone involved, it does not affect custody or visitation, as they are two separate issues.

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