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San Antonio Child Support Enforcement Lawyer

Bexar County child support enforcement lawyer

When parents are no longer together, child support can be crucial for ensuring that their children's needs will be met. These payments will help address the ongoing, daily expenses of raising children, including making sure they have the proper food and clothing, as well as a safe and well-maintained place to live. In some cases, child support orders may also address additional expenses, including educational and medical expenses, as well as daycare or other forms of child care. However, child support is only helpful when it is actually paid. If a parent fails to meet their court-ordered obligations to support their children, the other parent may need to take legal action to enforce these requirements.

At the law office of Brandon Wong & Associates, our attorneys are known throughout San Antonio and Texas for enforcing child support orders – not for the purpose of punishing delinquency, but for the purpose of getting the money parents and their kids need to survive. We know how to get court orders enforced as quickly as possible, and we strive to find solutions that will provide for the best interests of children while also ensuring that parents will have the necessary financial resources to meet their own needs. We have extensive experience in these types of cases, and many other lawyers refer child support collection matters to us. Whether you are seeking to enforce child support obligations or need to determine how to respond to an enforcement action as a non-custodial parent, we can provide the legal help you need.

Child Support Enforcement FAQs

How Far Behind Can You Be on Child Support Before a Warrant Is Issued in Texas?

Intentionally or knowingly failing to pay child support is a criminal offense in Texas. Generally, you must be found in contempt of court before a warrant will be issued. If you owe more than six months of child support, or more than $5,000, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor. If you have not made regular child support payments in two years or owe more than $10,000, you may face felony charges.

What Are the Methods for Enforcement of Child Support in Texas?

A parent may be found in contempt of court if they are not paying child support as ordered by the court. This can result in an arrest and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. However, before that stage of delinquency is reached, the state may allow wage garnishment as a means of enforcement.

How Long Can You Go to Jail for Not Paying Child Support in Texas?

If you are found guilty of criminal nonsupport, you could be sent to jail for up to six months for a misdemeanor charge, or up to two years if your offense has been upgraded to a felony due to serious delinquency.

What Happens if a Parent Stops Paying Child Support in Texas?

There can be serious consequences for intentionally or knowingly failing to comply with a child support order. The other parent may be able to begin garnishing the non-paying parent’s wages. A person’s driver’s license can also be suspended for non-payment. More serious consequences are also possible. A parent who is delinquent on child support payments could be found in contempt of court and jailed, or in more serious cases, they could be convicted of criminal nonsupport and sent to prison.

Can a Child Sue a Parent for Back Child Support in Texas?

While the right to receive support lies with the child, it is generally the custodial parent who must enforce these rights. An adult child generally cannot sue their parent for child support they did not receive, but there may be other ways to recover these funds.

How Long Can You Go Back on Child Support in Texas?

If a parent had not previously been ordered to pay child support, retroactive child support may be ordered. Texas law generally presumes that the amount of retroactive child support a parent may be required to pay should not be more than what they would have paid in the four years prior to when a petition requesting retroactive child support was filed. In addition, a petition requesting retroactive child support cannot be filed after the child reaches the age of 22 (four years after their 18th birthday).

What Happens if You Marry Someone Who Owes Back Child Support in Texas?

Your personal income cannot be garnished because your spouse owes child support. However, your spouse’s wages could be garnished, resulting in less income for your family. Your spouse could also lose their driver’s license, which can affect you. Additionally, liens or levies may be placed on your joint assets, such as a home you bought with your spouse or a joint bank account, even if your personal income was used to acquire those assets or increase their value.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Back Child Support in Texas?

The statute of limitations for filing a claim for back child support is 10 years after the child’s 18th birthday, so long as the support order was already in place. Failing to file before the deadline could result in a claim for back child support being denied.

How Can a Child Support Enforcement Lawyer Help Me?

While there are a number of methods for enforcing a child support order that may be available, it often takes the skill of an attorney to ensure that they are used correctly. A child support enforcement attorney can file a petition with the court on your behalf seeking to enforce existing child support orders, seek retroactive child support, or collect child support that is owed. Legal options for enforcing child support may range from having a parent held in contempt to garnishing their wages.

Legal Representation in Child Support Enforcement Cases

It is important to understand that when child support orders are established, they are legally-binding court orders that parents are required to follow. As with other types of court orders, failure to meet these obligations can result in serious consequences. To ensure that a parent will pay child support as ordered, a court may put certain requirements in place, such as a wage garnishment order that will withhold the required payments from the parent's income. If there is any unpaid child support, these payments will continue to be owed until they are paid in full, and interest may be applied to the outstanding amounts. If necessary, a parent who is owed support may take action to collect unpaid child support.

If a parent repeatedly violates the court's orders and fails to pay support as ordered, they may face a number of other consequences. In addition to garnishing their wages, the court may place liens on a parent's home or other property, seize funds from their bank accounts, or intercept their federal income tax refunds or other payments they receive, such as a settlement in a personal injury case or lottery winnings. The court may also take action to suspend a parent's driver's license, or it may impose other consequences, including sentencing a person to jail time or placing them on probation and requiring them to perform community service and receive counseling for financial planning and budget management, drug or alcohol abuse, or any other issues that may have caused them to fail to meet their obligations.

Contact Our San Antonio Child Support Enforcement Attorneys

If you are owed child support, our lawyers can provide you with honest and straightforward answers about your options for collecting the payments you need to provide for your children. We can help you take steps to receive ongoing support through monthly or lump-sum payments. We can help you collect back child support that is owed, even if your children have reached adulthood. We can also help parents who owe child support determine their options, ensuring that they will be able to meet their obligations while avoiding consequences such as license suspension or jail time. To learn more about how we can help with matters related to child support, contact us today at 210-201-3832. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your legal needs.

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