Raising children can be a heavy responsibility, and the state recognizes that both parents have a responsibility to contribute to the care of their shared children. If your child’s other parent has been ordered by the court to pay you child support and they are refusing to pay, this can be a stressful and upsetting situation, especially if you depend on those payments to financially provide for your child. Thankfully, there are concrete steps you can take to compel your ex to pay the child support you are owed, and an experienced family law attorney can help you recover the back payments if necessary.
Do Not Withhold Visitation
Whatever you do, you should never withhold visitation in response to your ex refusing to pay child support. You and your ex are obliged to obey court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements, regardless of whether a child support order is being followed. If you try to prevent your child from seeing their other parent against the court’s instructions, it will not look upon your situation kindly. Refusing to follow your court-ordered visitation agreement can lead to being held in contempt of court, jailed for up to 2 years, and fined up to $10,000.
Speak to Your Ex
If you think that your ex might have forgotten to send a payment, reach out to remind them of their obligations. Although it may be difficult, it’s important to try and remain civil during these exchanges. Speaking to your ex – calmly, clearly, and without accusations – may be an effective strategy for getting them to pay. It’s essential that you remain level-headed while clearly communicating the message that they are legally obligated to provide support. Follow up by email and keep a record of these conversations.
Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support in Texas
If your ex still refuses to pay after a courtesy reminder, know that the state of Texas takes the failure to pay child support very seriously. A reputable family law attorney can help you enforce a standing child support order.
Intentionally failing to pay court-ordered support can result in the following:
- Fines up to $10,000
- 6 months-2 years in jail
The Office of the Attorney General also publishes the names and photographs of child support evaders who owe more than $5000. Child support evaders can also:
- Lose their driver’s license
- Have their wages garnished
- Have their tax returns seized
- Have a lien placed on their property
- Be unable to get or renew their passport
- Have their credit score dinged
A person who is behind on child support payments will be obliged to pay all past payments with interest. Even if the person paying support loses their job or is otherwise unable to pay, they cannot simply stop paying support unless they are first granted a modification by the court.
Reach Out to Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C.
If your ex is refusing to pay child support, it is critical that you consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. With Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. in your corner, you can trust that we will do everything we can to help protect your and your children’s interests while we seek enforcement of the court’s order.
Contact us today online or call us at (281) 612-5443 to schedule a consultation.