Collecting Texas Child Support with Interest
Texas is tough on child support enforcement. When a non-custodial parent doesn't pay what the court orders, a complaint can be filed with the Office of the Attorney General for assistance in enforcing those orders. Although child support usually ends when a child turns 18, the state's authority to enforce collection of any unpaid child support does not.
In addition to collecting all unpaid child support, the non-custodial parent can be ordered to pay interest on money owed. That interest can drastically change the amount due. For instance, if the non-custodial parent owes $20,000 in back child support payments, interest could run the amount owed over $150,000, depending on when the payments became delinquent.
The laws stipulating interest on child support changed through the years, but if child support payments were due after January 1, 2002 the interest is calculated at 6 percent. Before that date, the interest rate was at 12 percent. Regardless, you can see that the interest can turn into quite a large sum.
Filing a Complaint for Unpaid Child Support
Before receiving the state's help in collecting past due child support, the custodial parent must file a written complaint with the Child Support Division of the state's OAG. The complaint form can be downloaded from the attorney general's website, completed and mailed in. You can also file a complaint through the state's interactive website. The enforcement services are provided at no charge.
Once a complaint is filed, the state determines how best to enforce the court orders and you have no control over enforcement actions unless you submit a written request to withdraw the complaint. Actions take can include suspending the non-paying parent's driver's license (if more than three months behind on payments) as well as professional, hunting and fishing licenses. The state can require an employer to withhold payments from the non-custodial parent's paychecks, a lien can be placed on the parent's property and assets, many federal and state issued checks (including income tax returns) can be held, a judgment can be filed against the non-payer, and he or she can be put in jail.
Using a Private Agency to Collect Child Support
Although the state offers child support enforcement services for free, the Child Support Division is overwhelmed with cases. Even if you receive welfare, the processing of your case can take time, and the state acknowledges that private agencies may be able to help you collect back child support much faster.
A private agency will provide individual attention to your case, and aggressively pursue collection. Although a fee is generally charged, many child support collection agencies work on a contingency fee basis. You only pay for the services when they collect. To speed up the process of Texas child support collection, you may want to consider contacting one.
However you go about it, pursuing unpaid child support is in your children's best interests. If it's not needed to support them today, it can be saved for them to use later. Plus, parents who avoid paying child support also avoid seeing the custodial parent, which usually means not spending time with the children. Often when they do start paying, they're more apt to see them. Rarely does a child want to be avoided by their father or mother.
- Child Support Collection Texas
Private agency assists with collecting past due child support in Texas, regardless of the child’s age. They work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay when collected.
- Paternity Testing
Get the legal test acceptable in court to establish paternity.
- State Child Support Services
The Texas Office of Attorney General provides services including establishment and enforcement of child support.