How to Enforce a Child Support Order in Texas

How to Enforce a Child Support Order in Texas

Posted By Rockwall Divorce Attorney || 23-Apr-2013

Is the other parent getting behind in their child support payments or is refusing to pay? The state of Texas takes child support court orders very seriously and they are not afraid to punish those who do not comply. As the noncustodial parent, they are required by law to pay the appropriate amount of monthly child support. If they fail to adhere to the support requirements within the court order, then they may be subject to enforcement measures. The Child Support Division in Texas has several different methods and techniques that they use to better enforce child support orders. If the noncustodial person is found to be in violation of the order, they could be found to be in contempt of court and face legal consequences. The enforcement process is not always easy, speak with a Rockwall divorce attorney from The Law Offices of Estrada & Estrada today for qualified legal guidance.

Different Enforcement Methods

There are several different enforcement tactics that are used in Texas including:

  • Asking the employer to taking the court ordered support out of their paycheck via wage withholding
  • Taking the support out of their tax refund check, lottery winnings or from other federal or state sources
  • Take the support by filing a lien against the person's assets or property
  • Suspend their driver's license along with any professional or recreational license that they have
  • File a lawsuit against them and request that the court enforce the support order for you
  • The judge can sentence them to jail and enter a judgment for all the past due child support

Even if the noncustodial parent lives in another state, they are required by law to make regular child support payments. If enforcement actions become necessary then the states are required to cooperate with each other in those efforts.

The Enforcement Process

Enforcing your court order is definitely a process, but with the right help you will eventually receive all the support payments that you are legally entitled to. The first step is to obtain an experienced family law attorney who understands the Texas family law statutes. Then you should begin gathering documentation- the best way is to create a spreadsheet which includes all the payments that you should have received with the amounts and the dates. Once you have a list of all the missing payments, you will be able to calculate the arrearage and find out exactly how much the noncustodial parent owes you in back support. Now that you have solid and specific information, your attorney can help you draft a motion to enforce the child support order. With the motion you will also want to include the original support order which state their payment obligations along with your list of missing payments and total amount of arrearage that they owe you. Within your motion you should also request a hearing date.

Now your motion should be ready to file, you will need to makes three copies and sign each one to give to the district clerk. You will also want to bring money for the filing fee. When you go to the court to file your motion be sure to tell them that you want the constable to serve the obligor for you. If the noncustodial parent is hiding or is hard to locate, it may take some time before they are properly served notice. You can also the papers served through a private process server if the constable cannot seem to do it. While you are waiting for the obligor to be served, you can focus on preparing an order to confirm an arrearage. You will need to make four copies of this form because this is what the judge will be signing on the day of your hearing. Once the obligor is properly served, be sure to ask for a certified copy of the Return of Service, this form acts as evidence that they receive the papers. The last step is to appear on time on the day of your scheduled hearing with a copy of your filed motion, the four copies of your proposed order and with the return of service. If you have an attorney helping you through this process, then they can prepare all the legal paperwork for you and speak on your behalf in the courtroom so you don't have to.

Rockwall Child Support Enforcement Attorney

In the Texas statutes in the Family Code (157.261) it states that there will be an annual 6% interest that accrues on all missed child support payments. As long as someone has support arrears that are due, the Texas court has the power to pursue enforcement actions against them until all the support is paid in full. If the noncustodial parent is late on payments or is refusing to pay you, then it is time to take legal action. Attorney Shannon Estrada has extensive experience with child support cases and the enforcement actions that are available. She can help you draft and file the motion with the court and can present your case on the date of your hearing.

At the Law Offices of Estrada & Estrada, you will receive high quality legal services and trustworthy legal counsel when you need it most. The firm understands the importance of providing for your child and without those support payments you are not able to fulfill that commitment. Contact a Rockwall divorce attorney from the firm today to learn more about enforcement actions in the state of Texas.

Categories: Divorce, Family Law

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