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What Can I Do If My Ex Is Not Paying Court-Ordered Child Support?

 Posted on September 25, 2023 in Child Support

TX family lawyerIf your divorced spouse is violating a court order and failing to pay owed child support in Texas, you have legal options to pursue enforcement or recover the payments with a lawyer. Here are actions you can take when facing unpaid support.

File an Enforcement Motion

The first step is filing a motion with the court that issued the child support order, requesting formal enforcement proceedings due to nonpayment. Be sure to thoroughly document all missed child support payments in the motion. The court can then hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court for violating its lawful child support order. Potential consequences include wage garnishment, property liens, and even jail time in serious willful violation cases.

Seek License Suspension

Under Texas law, the court has authority to suspend any professional or recreational licenses held by a non-paying parent. This includes driver’s licenses, hunting/fishing licenses, and occupational/business licenses. Suspending these privileges often provides additional motivation to fulfill their child support duties.

Intercept Tax Refunds

Even if your ex-spouse moves out of state, owed child support can still be collected by petitioning Texas to intercept any state tax refund due to your ex and have it redirected to you instead until all child support arrears are paid. This prevents evasive scofflaws from enjoying tax refunds until their share of child expenses is addressed first.

Report to Credit Bureaus

You have the right to report unpaid child support obligations to the main credit bureaus, causing severe damage to your ex-spouse’s credit rating. The threat of harming their credit score gives additional incentive for compliance, since paying owed support is the only way to stop further negative reporting.

File Contempt Actions

If violations of support orders continue despite enforcement motions, suing your non-paying ex for contempt of court for willfully disobeying a lawful court order can result in fines, community service, probation or even jail time in some cases until they comply. Punitive damages may also be sought.

Contact a North Texas Family Law Attorney

Working with a Frisco, Texas family law lawyer can fully inform you of all options available statewide for collecting past-due child support owed by your ex. We can work together to bring them into compliance through liens, asset seizures, garnishment of wages, or other methods to finally obtain the financial support needed for your children. Call Pfister Family Law at 972-954-6455 to get started.

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