In Texas, missed child support payments are debts that do not go away. Child support typically continues until a child becomes an adult. However, back child support can be collected even after the child gets to the age of majority.
If a parent is delinquent in making child support payments, he or she is considered to be in arrears. While some states end child support at the age of 18, others do so at 19 or 21. States will also cut off payments if a child has been emancipated. Child support payments are required to be submitted until the delinquent balance is fully paid, no matter the age of the child. In most states, a parent’s child support obligations cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
There are a variety of methods that are used to enforce child support orders. State and federal government enforcement officials have the authority to garnish wages, suspend or withhold driver’s licenses and passports, levy tax refunds, place liens on property or have a delinquent parent incarcerated. These measures may continue after even a child becomes an adult.
In some states, there may be limited time to collect on back child support after a child turns 18 due to statutes of limitations. Parents seeking child support may find it necessary to return to court and have the child support order renewed.
A family law attorney may help a client resolve child custody issues, including those pertaining to child support payments. If necessary, the attorney will file the appropriate documents to request an increase in amounts if the financial circumstances of the client have changed. In addition, the lawyer may report delinquent payments so enforcement can begin.