A court order for child support from a family court gives you the right to collect child support from the obligor (the parent responsible for paying child support) but unfortunately not all obligors pay the ordered child support. It can be frustrating to know that a court has ordered the child support but the obligor refuses to pay the child support while you have no choice but to provide the financial support for your children. The good news for you is that Texas family law provides you the power to enforce the court order for child support and obtain both past and current child support. A court order from a family court enforcing an existing child support obligation can be extremely effective in collecting child support. Let’s discuss how an enforcement action can help you collect child support and how divorce lawyer Adam Kielich and The Kielich Law Firm can help you in your enforcement action.
What is a child support enforcement action?
Under the Texas Family Code, an obligee (the parent receiving child support) is entitled to bring a child support enforcement against the obligor to enforce the child support obligation and pursue remedies to collect past due and current child support obligations. An enforcement proceeding for child support is typically brought as a contempt proceeding because contempt provides the greatest range of remedies for the obligee. A child support enforcement action can request and obtain remedies for a child support arrearage including a civil money judgment, fines and other penalties, additional income withholding orders, property liens, losses of state-issued licenses (including driver’s licenses and professional licenses), probation and even imprisonment. Often the threat of probation or jail time is sufficient to convince the obligor to find money that supposedly did not exist and get the support obligation current. In cases where the child support arrearage is significant the obligor rarely has enough money on hand to pay off the arrears and some combination of financial remedies are necessary to try to pay off the arrears and bring the child support obligation current.