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Collecting Texas Child Support with Interest

Updated on November 9, 2008

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 Enforcement After Age 18


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      donald 2 years ago

      This is what needs to happen to get our stories heard I hope? I am sure dads in your state , I live in texas are doing The same, nothing,?we need signatures which includes our complaints, and and stress, what want to be done about the child support system about 20,000 we can direct the petitions we start with legislature if they blow US off direct the same petitions to congress and so on ? until our voices are heard our state before the next election2016 for legislature& congress this is how it goes we have to convince fathers, who are getting screwed to take action shouldn't have to, I will be #1

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      Rhiannon 2 years ago

      The child support laws here in Texas are ridiculous. Too many women here abuse he system & live off the child support instead of getting up & working. I don't believe someone should go to jail for child support & women please stop using the word deadbeat Dad. If you're having to rely on his child support, then wouldn't that make you a deadbeat Mom? My husband is almost done paying off arrears to a child he doesn't have rights to see

      & the Mother spends the money on herself & her new dude. We went back & forth with this woman & I'm glad it's coming to an end. Texas shouldn't allow women to collect back pay if the man didn't know about the child. Texas, stop catering to these feminists!

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      Rebecca 3 years ago

      Just to let you know a false bank ruptesy was filed in my case to knock off 30 thousand dollars. It really pisses me off. And there is an additional 29 thousand owed to me. I did all the court asked me to do and have a lien that looks useless to me. Its total hell collecting child support in the State of Texas and that needs to change. I paid out of pocket for my lawyers and then also used the Ag no help there the person that owes me has large holdings and I still cant collect. Change it Texas we are suffering.. Just saying........

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      Denise 4 years ago

      Why does the OAG get to keep the interest?? I'm the one that has been waiting all these years!! I should bet the interest since I've had to wait all these years and me and my daughter had to struggle and do without! Is there any way to get the interest???

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      donna 4 years ago

      my daughters father is behind on support by 34 thousand dollas. Just had a court case regarding this.......No payments have been received since 2002........He also has another case thru the Texas OAG......turn out he has been paying.......He is on disability and they were garnishing his check. Problem is they were double paying the other case he has with the Texas OAG. So, the other baby mama (so to speak) was getting double paid. Their answer to me was, Sorry, we will get this fixed and in Dec you will start getting payments. There's nothing we can do about the mis applied payments so you will not get any of those. SERIOUSLY???? How is that even possible. Ifsomeone sends their child support payments to a wrong address I dont think the OAG would accept a sorry, I'll make sure to correct that so you can start getting them now as an answer...........

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      In Texas 4 years ago from Texas

      It's terrible for so many parents to go through the struggles each of you do. If you are dealing with past due child support and the ncp is able to pay, talk to a child support collection agency that doesn't charge upfront fees. Your child deserves the support and you do, too

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      Btown 4 years ago

      The interest goes to the custodial parent. The state takes a portion yearly I believe.

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      jim 5 years ago

      does tx keep the interest paid on back child support or does it go to the custodial parent?

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      Amy 5 years ago

      you can put a lien on their bank accounts without a judgment, for the amount they owe. I have the paperwork. I can also help in the process of getting a judgment. alcoello @ gmail

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      Oagisajoke 5 years ago

      I've been reading all these posts about Childsupport and they sound as if I wrote them all! It's hard to believe there are so many good responsible single parents that do the right thing by

      working and caring for their kids, and at the same time get no help from the state when trying to hold deadbeat parents accountable. Everytime I call the OAG office they cut me short and give the obvious impression that they could care less and are being inconveinienced by my call. And these are the people who are supposed to work for us! There DOES need to be a public shaming of these "parents" or something that will motivate them to take responsibility. I too suffered from a OAG screw up when they listed me as the non cutodial parent based on their own assumtive stereotype that ALL fathers are paying and not collecting. So what we need to do is come together and let it be known who these deadbeats are expose them as the worthless people they are. If they can go to sleep at night with their bellies full of seafood n steak, have their cars n boats n horses n pets and their stepkids well taken care of, they're more than capable of supporting theirkids. My ex Naomi flores of SeguinTx, just had a birthday may 5. A week-long birthday to be exact in downtown San Antonio at the crowne plaza hotel where the rooms are $90-&$300 a night . I'm tellin y'all this stuff makes me

      sick. The Texas OAG is a joke! They don't care about the children of Texas who are owed what they deserve. Texas is NOT hard on deadbeats and probably never will be! The tx OAG and it's entire statewide staff should be ashamed of themselves with their unprofessionalism and "I could care less" attitude ! Holla if u hear me!

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      Wayne 5 years ago

      I've been trying to get the OAG to enforce my case for years, and it's one excuse after another for why they're not enforcing it. As a man (with a job), I know I would not be allowed to get $16k behind on child support. As a Pro-Se litigant, I've accomplished more than this agency. The final insult is going to be when she finally does start paying, the OAG is going to confiscate their "cut" out of it, and go running off to the federal OCSE to claim matching funds.

      I see a lot of similarities between the OAG and the GAO.

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      Emilio s 5 years ago

      I lost my rights to my boy ,so did the mother he was 16 at the time now he's 23, but ag is still charging me rears and interest. What should I do? Get an attorney.

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      Struggling Also 5 years ago

      I am what is known as a deadbeat dad. I paid the court ordered child support until my youngest was supposed to graduate from high school. She married at 15. I had an allotment to my ex. Now, 25 years later, she has gotten my wages (retirement) garnished due to non-support to the tune of $85,000. I never received any paperwork from her attorney or the court system. I found out about it when my retirement was garnished. Now I have to fight her again in court for the child support that I have already paid her. She is using the system against me because she knows that all she has to do is say that I did not pay it. Now it is harder to prove because I have to find the allotment documents again. Last she did this, I was told that it was over and I would not have to worry about it again. Yah, right.

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      MistyScott 5 years ago

      I am a child of a father who refused to pay child support... Throughout my life he was on SSI and would work, he just put all the business's in his new wifes name. It is totaled at over $84,000 in back child support, plus interest.. My mom has filed several times to get the back child support, and I am 22 now... Since my mom hasn't filed in several years and my father thought that no one was going to come after him, he has started working under his name.... So We have filed and were hoping to get it... My mom filed on my 2 brothers father and got back child support on him, and he pays $100 a month out of his disability....

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      Struggling! 5 years ago

      I finally started receiving child support from my daughter's father when she was 12! Since I didn't file a complaint with the Texas OAG until I found him, they only went back 4 yrs, so the first 7 yrs he got away with. He paid for a year and a half then stopped. They say they can't find him or where he is working. I have printed and given copies of his facebook profile and his new wife's! Nothing! He is now $18,000+ behind, has a warrant out for his arrest and nothing!

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      It's hopeless 6 years ago

      My wife sent my two children to live with me and refused to advise the authorities and I couldn't afford to go back to court so the meter kept ticking.

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      Jamie Gammon 6 years ago

      Not all fathers are dead beats. My wife ran off on me, and had two kids with another guy. While she was having those kids, she left our kid with the guys mother. By the time I figured out where my new daughter was(my wife was pregnant at the time she ran away), she was a year old, and I was served papers. My wife ended up splitting up from that guy, and he took the 2 kids they had together. The guy's mother took custody of our daughter, and she is a real bitch. I've tried fighting for custody of her in liberty county, TX, but it is a one-horse system there, and they are allowed to file continuous all the time without notifying my lawyer. My lawyer and I showed up several times and it has cost me a total of 45 thousand dollars in legal fees since my lawyer is out of Houston. I refuse to pay child support to a bitch who stole my child through red neck judge conservative religious means. If my wife had our child I would not have an issue paying the child support at all. Even then, I have not been able to find work since 2007 because of the economy, and 2 felonies I got when I was 19 years old. Now, I am almost 32, and those felonies are still used against me. I'm hoping by achieving an education that I can get those felonies over looked.

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      Barbara 6 years ago

      My son has had custody of his son since he was 3years old. He will be 8 this year. He has not had any luck getting help to make the non-custodial parent pay. He scraps to take care of his family and can't afford to pay a lawyer to try to help him. He has been paid maybe 3 months in all this time and I feel like if the situation was turned around and it was him that was not paying he would be in jail. This person is white trash and doesn't deserve to see her son. When it is her time with him, he is usually with her parents because she has flown off to another state doing her so called job. I am ashamed of Texas for not being more help to my son and others that have the same problem.

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      Gillian 6 years ago

      Well Texas Child Support is not here for any one (the children, custodial parent, or non-custodial parent) My husband has been paying his child support when ever he can, even though that means taking from his child that he does get to see & be around. Even though he is paying & paying & paying OAG is still tacking on interest. If he is late there is interest, if he is early there is interest no matter what we do to try & get it paid down there is still interest being added to his CS. I am sorry to hear about everyone's ex's being deadbeat but at this point I can kind of understand it do to the fact that even if your ex's did pay. You & the OAG would still not be happy & still screw the good people that are & do have to pay child support.

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      RJ 6 years ago

      I read articles stating that "Texas is tough" on failure to pay court ordered support. My Ex is capable of working but won't so they don't have to pay and are now nearly $20k in arrears. One time arrested but bailed out at $2k not even a dent. Been supporting 2 kids with 25% payments a month for 5 years now. The system is only concerned about the people who harass them but they are so rude you hate to call. Then they drag the WORKING parent out of work all day to sit in a room and try to work it out? What is that about, pay the support that is what I agree to! It's not like my Ex will pay per the agreement anyway, I have even done temp orders to lower it to try to help but that amount doesn't get paid! Someone should help those who are being cooperative too.

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      JR 6 years ago

      Texas OAG is such a joke! I can't tell you how many times my ex has stopped paying child support. When you contact them they are rude and act like you are bothering them. I don't know where they find the employees but apparently none of them have children and receive child support. Sending my ex a letter is a joke. Meanwhile he's had a warrant for his arrest in another state for non-payment of CS and we are heading that with here in Texas for my child. Texas OAG should be ashamed of themselves. They are certainly not here for the children!!!

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      6 years ago

      There needs to be a national media campaign started that will help "shame" this deadbeats into paying their child support. It's so sad how these people can care for their new families, horses, pets, etc but not care enough about their first responsibility - their CHILDREN.

      I don't know how they can live with themselves. My ex is out dining on steak when his 3 daughters are eating whatever it is we can get on sale. I don't know how people can be so selfish......

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      Derek 7 years ago

      It took Texas an entire year to understand that I am the custodial parent and the support order issued to me was a Texas order. Now that we are all on the same page and almost 3 years into opening my case I am sitting in limbo as the courts continue my kids mother contempt hearing over and over again. I've made a complaint to the CS office and it seems as if the Judges in Texas are the main problem with the system. They are going to continue allowing my ex to come up with one excuse after another to avoid her responsibility. I paid her over $26,000 over the years when she had our kids. Fair is fair. Am I asking for too much?

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      melinda 7 years ago

      My case has been in the Ag's office for 22 years,and trust me it has gone by for years without payment,and no one took him to court till my son turned 18 and got a judgement and he still is not paying on that he owes 130,000 dollars.he told me he didn't pay child support for his first 2 he wasn't paying for this one either.He was arrested finally on the 16th of this month for failure to appear and they charged him a 1000$bond that comes back to me what a joke.I hope at this point jail is involved there.

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      Amy 7 years ago

      @Darla, you can go around the OAG, they are backed up and don't have time. Mine missed one payment and I put a lien on his bank account. I don't have the resources to let him get that far behind. So the moment he quit his job and missed that first payment, i put a lien on his account immediately. alcoello at gmail dot com and i can show you how to do it.

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      terry 7 years ago

      The Texas Attorney General Office of Child Support is a joke. As a single father with custody of two boys, it has been a nightmare to get the ncp to pay. At $5000 behind, any payment and you have to start the process all over again. Twice, they have gotten it mixed up and thought I was supposed to be paying child support. The workers that you talk to on the phone are rude and disrespectful. They won't deliver a message to my case worker. Since I was awarded child support in 2006 my support has been the wrong amount and inconsistant, and the Texas OAG sais they can do nothing about it. Our tax dollars go to pay these people to do nothing. Like I said, what a joke!!

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      Darla 7 years ago

      I just wanted to let you know that enforcement is not a gaurantee in texas. It takes a 90 day process to use alternative methods of enforcement. Once the support is 30 days past due, they send a non compliance letter. The non custodial parent has another 30 days to respond or pay, the process is done over for a total of 90 days before they will set a court date for contempt. If the non custodial parent pays a portion of the amount due in that 90 days, the whole waiting period has to be started all over. So the con custodial parent can pay $5 every 90 days and they are safe!!!!! This I know because I have been going round and round with Texas OAG for some time now. In the meantime, my daughters father has six horses that he makes sure he feeds before he worries about sending money to feed or take care of his own child.