Austin Child Support Enforcement Lawyer

Parents have the legal obligation to provide their children with financial support. When parents live apart, the non-residential parent usually pays child support to the parent who provides a home for the children. A formula determines how much child support a parent must pay.

When their co-parent cannot or will not pay child support as ordered, the receiving parent can bring an enforcement action in court to compel payment.

A knowledgeable child support attorney could help you ensure your children get the support they need. When you are owed child support or your co-parent is bringing an enforcement action against you, contact an Austin child support enforcement lawyer at Kimbrough Legal, PLLC.

The Child Support Enforcement Process

The Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division handles child support payments. Parents make child support payments through payroll deduction, electronic payments, mail, or in person at a kiosk.

The Division tracks payments and can act to collect late payments when a parent falls behind, but there is often a backlog of delinquent accounts. Waiting for the Division to act and receiving overdue money might take a long time, and a parent who depends on the money could experience hardship in the meantime.

Hiring an Austin lawyer to enforce the late child support payments often makes more sense than waiting. According to Texas Family Code § 157.167(a), when a parent must take their co-parent to court to collect child support, a judge can force the co-parent to pay the receiving parent’s attorney’s fees.

Remedies Against a Non-paying Parent

The law takes non-payment of child support seriously, and there are multiple actions a court could take against a parent who refuses to support their children. All remedies are available whether the Attorney General or a private attorney brings the enforcement action.

When a receiving parent brings an action to enforce a child support order, they must prove the amount in arrears. The actions a judge could take include:

  • Garnishing their wages
  • Freezing their bank account
  • Filing a lien on their property
  • Sentencing the delinquent parent to serve time in jail
  • Intercepting the paying parent’s state and federal tax refunds
  • Attaching insurance settlements, lottery winnings, and lawsuit proceeds
  • Suspending their driver’s license, professional license, and recreational licenses

A judge also could order an unemployed parent to get a job or pursue higher-paying work.

Proceedings to enforce a child support order require both parents to present extensive proof showing how much is owed and the payor’s capacity to keep current on their child support payments. An attorney in Austin could help a parent pursue or defend a child support enforcement action.

Child Support Is Not the Same as Access

Children have independent rights to their parent’s financial support and their guidance and companionship. Parents cannot allow an issue with child support to infringe on the children’s right to have a relationship with both their parents.

For example, a receiving parent might deny a co-parent access rights and refuse to make the children available for overnights or visits until they bring their child support up to date. Although the receiving parent might feel this is an appropriate punishment for the non-compliant parent, it is a violation of the court’s conservatorship order and a deprivation of the children’s rights.

An Austin child support enforcement attorney could explain each parent’s legal rights and responsibilities and develop a strategy to compel compliance with the child support order as quickly as possible.

Contact an Austin Attorney About Non-compliance With a Child Support Order

Struggling to pay or collect child support is stressful. Before you allow it to affect either parent’s relationship with your children, reach out to an attorney for help.

The skilled Austin child support enforcement lawyers at Kimbrough Legal PLLC have experience with situations like yours. Contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals today.