Can you go to Jail for not Paying Child Support?

In the State of Texas, a child has the right to support from both parents, and an obligor’s failure to meet his or her obligations to pay support may result in jail time.  If you have suffered a substantial change in your financial situation, this may be a relevant factor for the court to consider in terms of assessing penalties and determining whether forces beyond the obligor’s control has impacted the obligor’s ability to pay support or other underlying reasoning for non-payment of support may exist.  Some common reasons are:

  • Loss of employment
  • Increased expenses for other dependents
  • Disability or poor health

If an obligor is financially capable but unwilling to pay support as ordered by the court, a Texas court may order the obligor to be jailed for up to six months due to contempt of court. The court may also issue fines of up to $500 for each nonpayment and order the obligor to pay for the movant’s attorney fees and court costs.  Child support payments are enforced also by the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.  Enforcement measures commonly taken by the Office of the Attorney General include:

  • Filing liens against property and other assets
  • Wage garnishment
  • Passport denial
  • License suspension

If the delinquent obligor is out of state, the Office of the Attorney General may also reach across state lines for help from other states’ child support enforcement agencies to initiate enforcement actions in person.

We are Here to Help

Contact the Liu Law Firm for help with issues involving child support and enforcement issues today at (469) 949-9227. Located at 333 E. Bethany Drive Bldg. H, Suite 110, Allen, TX 75002.

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