Child custody and child support can be matters of extreme importance for parents going through a divorce or the end of a relationship in Texas. In many cases, parents are seeking the highest levels of custody possible in order to maintain their closeness with their children; unfortunately, some parents attempt to avoid their obligation to their kids altogether. In general, a non-custodial parent or one with a smaller amount of custodial time will be ordered by the court to pay a monthly child support amount to the primary custodial parent. Several factors are used to calculate the payment amount, including the parent's income, ongoing expenses and their time with the child.
Despite the fact that a child support order is legally binding, far too many parents simply refuse to pay or ignore their obligation. Parents who refuse to pay may cite a number of reasons to justify their non-payment, declaring that they cannot afford the payments, that their former partner may be misusing the funds or that the child custody order from the court was unfair or inequitable. A parent can seek a modification of a child support order with the court but cannot choose to just ignore their responsibility.
Custodial parents may be able to work with a family law attorney to seek payment of the unpaid support. The first step can be documenting the record of non-payment and delinquency with the court that originated the support order. In some cases, the court will issue a contempt order to begin a legal process against the non-paying parent.
Various actions may be taken to enforce payment through a legal process instituted in the court. These include garnishing wages for a lump sum payment of back support owed, withholding from paychecks for future payment or garnishing a tax refund check. With legal help, delinquent child support payments might be pursued across state lines.