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What Happens if You Don’t Pay Child Support?

There are many myths surrounding child support. One common myth is that you don’t need to pay child support if you don’t see your children. The opposite is the truth. You absolutely must pay child support if a judge orders you to, and you can’t stop simply because you choose to sever all contact.

Texas takes child support enforcement seriously. Government officials are afraid that unsupported children will end up on welfare, so the state has given itself many tools at its disposal to force you to pay. Contact our League City child support lawyer if you need help.

The State Can Garnish Your Wages

If you have a regular job, then garnishment is an easy way for the state to collect your child support. With a garnishment, your employer will hold back a certain amount of your paycheck every pay period and send it to the state. This money then goes to the other parent.

Garnishment might not sound that bad, but some people are embarrassed that their employer finds out they aren’t paying child support. Garnishment for unpaid support will also reduce your take home pay, making it harder to meet expenses.

The State Might Take Your Tax Refund

Expecting a big tax refund next year? If you owe child support, the state can intercept it and use the funds to cover unpaid child support.

The State Can Revoke or Suspend Your License

To encourage payment, Texas might revoke or suspend your driver’s license, professional license, or hunting license. The state has power under Chapter 232 of the Texas Family Code to claw back any license or permit that it issues.

You Can Go to Jail for Contempt of Court

It might sound crazy, but it’s true—you could end up jailed for refusing to pay child support. A Texas judge can put you in jail for up to six months for contempt, which means violating the court’s orders.

There is also a law at Penal Code § 25.05 which makes it a state jail felony to fail intentionally or knowingly to pay child support. You could end up paying a $10,000 fine and spending up to two years in jail.

The State Can Put a Lien on Your Property

The state can put a lien on many assets, such as your car, real estate, bank account, or other assets. This means if you try to sell or transfer the asset, the lien must be paid first. Liens make it very hard to sell assets, like your car, because buyers don’t want to get involved with having to send money to the state. Even if they do go through with the purchase, you’ll receive less.

Contact Our League City Child Support Lawyer

There are legitimate reasons to suspend or modify child support, such as disability or financial difficulty. What you can’t do is simply decide on your own to stop paying. Instead, reach out to Tad Nelson & Associates for a free consultation. We can jump in and request a modification or advise you about your options.