It takes two people to make a child. However, in many Texas families, the children live with one parent most (or all) of the time. However, this doesn't absolve the other parent of responsibility. In nearly all cases, Texas law requires noncustodial parents to make regular child support payments.
Unfortunately, not all parents live up to this obligation. If you are struggling to get child support payments from your children's other parent, know that help is out there. The Texas Office of the Attorney General provides assistance to Texans who need help recovering past-due child support. In fact, this service is so important that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been working to spread the word about the aid his office can offer.
The OAG's Child Support Division provides comprehensive assistance to parents seeking support payments. In addition to collecting funds from the non-paying parent, the office can also help with establishing paternity and tracking down absent parents. In addition, the office can help modify child support orders if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances.
Parents who do not make good on their child support obligations should know that there are serious consequences for failing to pay. The state can garnish your wages and file liens against your property. It may also take away your professional license or suspend your ability to drive.
If you have questions about your child support obligations or are concerned about your ability to pay, it is best to address those issues proactively. Don't just stop making payments.
Source: The Alice Echo-News Journal, "Child Support 101," Greg Abbott, March 16, 2013.
To learn more about Texas child support issues, please visit our website.