For parents in Texas going through a divorce, there can be several key points of contention, including child support assessment and the child custody plan. While divorcing parents are struggling to be close to their children in many cases, parents in other cases attempt to evade their obligations to their children. A non-custodial parent or a parent with less custodial time will usually be mandated by the court to pay child support to the custodial parent. Factors including income, outstanding expenses and time with the child are included in the calculation of the final support payment.
Despite the use of a variety of factors to calculate the payment and the legally binding nature of a child support order, some parents refuse to pay, citing a number of reasons. These include a declared inability to afford the payments, a belief that their ex-partner misuses the money or a rejection of the declared custody order. While a non-custodial parent can file with the court for a modification of the order, simply defying it is not legally acceptable.
There are several actions that custodial parents can take to pursue unpaid child support, including documenting the non-payment with the court that issued the order. The court could institute mediation or issue a civil contempt order against the non-paying parent, launching the legal steps to take action. The wages of parents who refuse to pay their child support can be garnished as can tax refunds, or an ongoing order may be established to withhold child support payments from the non-paying parent’s paychecks.
For parents who have been through a divorce or separation, child support can be essential to ensure that one’s child has all of their needs met, from healthcare to educational expenses to extracurricular activities. A family law attorney may be able to help custodial parents pursue non-custodial parents who refuse to pay child support.