Helping Parents Seek Enforcement Of Child Support Orders
If you are raising your kids as a single parent, you depend on child support to make sure ends meet. When your ex is late with child support payments, pays only a portion of what they owe or stops paying altogether, you and your children suffer.
Child support is a legal obligation, and a noncustodial parent cannot just decide to pay less or not pay at all. If you are having trouble collecting support from the noncustodial parent, our lawyers can help you. The child support attorneys at Angela Faye Brown & Associates in Houston and Austin have many years of experience in recovering the money you need to give your child the best life possible.
Parents Are Obliged To Support Their Children
Parents have a legal duty to provide their children with the necessities of life – food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care (including mental health and dental care). A noncustodial parent must provide support until the child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. If a child has a disability that could prevent them from earning a living, the parent’s obligation to provide support might extend into the child’s adulthood.
Child support obligations apply regardless of either parent’s circumstances, the relationship between the two parents or the relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child or children. A parent cannot use the loss of a job, their ex-partner’s new relationship or the absence of a bond with a child as an excuse to avoid paying child support.
A custodial parent can protect their child by insisting that the former partner meet their legal obligations. Texas Family Code §157.002 allows the custodial parent to file a petition with the court seeking enforcement of the child support order. One of our motivated attorneys can help a custodial parent draft the petition to the court and present evidence proving that the noncustodial parent is not meeting their legal obligations of child support.
Remedies A Court Can Offer In A Child Support Matter
When a judge finds a parent in arrears in their child support, the court issues an order compelling the parent to pay. The total amount might include interest on the amount in arrears and the custodial parent’s enforcement costs, including attorney’s fees.
If the parent in arrears cannot pay all the back support at once, the court might order a garnishment of their wages. With a garnishment order, the noncustodial parent’s employer will deduct a percentage of their salary for back child support.
A court also can order the suspension of the noncompliant parent’s license to:
- Operate a business
- Practice medicine, law, nursing or any other licensed profession
- Carry a firearm
- Engage in any other activity for which Texas issues a license
Once a court has issued an order confirming the amount owed, a custodial parent can place a lien on the noncompliant parent’s property or a levy on their bank or brokerage accounts. One of our experienced lawyers in Houston can help a parent file the necessary documents to impose a lien or levy for unpaid support.
Issues That Commonly Arise In Child Support Enforcement
Sometimes, parents use visitation or lack of visitation with a child as a weapon in a child support dispute. Noncompliant parents must understand that child support obligations are enforceable separately from any visitation issues that might arise. They owe support even if they have no relationship with the child. By the same token, custodial parents may not restrict or deny visitation to induce a noncompliant parent to pay.
Child support is a payment to ensure the child’s welfare and well-being. If a custodial parent enters a new relationship, even a marriage, their changed financial status usually will not impact the noncustodial parent’s obligation to pay child support. If a noncustodial parent’s income or life circumstances change, they can seek a modification of a support order, but they cannot refuse to pay. Our knowledgeable attorneys can explain the circumstances in which a parent may be able to modify a child support order.
Rely On Our Attorneys To Seek Enforcement Of Child Support Orders
Child support disputes are disheartening, stressful and potentially damaging to a child. Handing the process over to an experienced legal professional can reduce your anxiety and help protect your child from tuning in to any anger or resentment you might be feeling.
Contact us at Angela Faye Brown & Associates if your ex has fallen behind on their obligations. The longer that arrears accumulate, the harder it becomes to collect the full amount you are owed, so call today at 281-975-0307 or contact us online.