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What happens if I fall behind in child support payments in Texas?

When a couple that shares a child divorces, the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to cover the child’s education, housing, food, healthcare and other child-related needs. Most often, parents take this responsibility seriously.

However, it is not uncommon for the paying parent to fail to live up to this responsibility for whatever reason. Under Texas law, failing to pay child support can lead to the following consequences:

You may face civil or criminal charges

You can be charged with criminal or civil contempt if you fail to pay child support in Texas. If you are charged with civil contempt, you may be jailed for up to six months. Additionally, you may pay a fine for each missed payment. If you are charged with criminal contempt, however, then you might be sent to jail until you comply with the court order.

Your driver’s license may be suspended

The court may also suspend your license for failing to pay child support. And while this mostly applies to the driver’s license, your hunting, fishing as well as professional license might be sanctioned as well.

A lien may be placed on your property

Failing to pay child support can also result in the court placing liens on your properties. These can include liens on your bank and retirement accounts and well as civil claims.

So what should you do if you fall behind on child support payments?

Like with other financial obligations, parents fall behind on child support for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have lost your job or you are dealing with a medical condition that is putting a significant strain on your finances. No matter the situation, it is important to understand that you can petition the court to review and modify the existing child support order.