Raising a child takes a lot of time, energy and resources. But doing it alone can elevate the challenge of raising a kid to the next level. This is the reality for many parents holding physical custody, or as the state of Texas refers to it, the “conservatorship” of their children. This is why family courts usually order the noncustodial parent to pay support to assist in paying for the child’s necessities.
But what can you do if, even with a court order, your ex-spouse refuses to pay child support?
Who can help me?
In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) enforces a child support order. Once the custodial parent submits the request to enforce the support order, the OAG can apply any of the following ways to compel the paying parent to perform their obligation:
- Filing a civil or criminal contempt lawsuit
- Withholding income and using it as support payment
- Holding assets as collateral until support payment has been made
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Removal of eligibility to obtain a U.S. passport
The law requires the OAG to report delinquent child support payments to credit agencies. This means that failure or late payments of support can adversely affect the credit score of the paying parent. Moreover, the OAG has an obligation to publicly identify child support evaders in certain circumstances.
It is understandable for a custodial parent to worry about not receiving support, especially since they need to financially support their child’s daily needs, education, health and recreational activities for proper development and growth. Knowing that the law protects them by actively enforcing support orders can give them assurance.