It is Important to Understand Your Child Support Responsibilities
Failure to understand your child support responsibilities can have severe consequences on every area of your life.
Parents in Texas have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children. If you are divorced or no longer with the other parent, a court order for child support may be issued in your case. Not appearing at court hearings, failing to pay the amount ordered, or otherwise not understanding your responsibilities in these matters can result in severe penalties. Our Pearland, Texas paternity attorney wants you to be aware of the consequences you could face and how you can protect yourself in these types of situations.
Child Support Obligations in Texas
Under Section 154.001 of the Texas Family Code, parents have a legal obligation to support their children up until they reach the age of 18. This is true regardless of whether you have partial custody or visitation with the child or whether they are in the custody of a non-parent or social service agency.
For fathers, if there are questions regarding paternity, these can be addressed through a court order which requires you to undergo mandatory DNA testing. If you fail to appear at this hearing, it can seem as admission of paternity on your part. You could be declared the child’s father and a child support order can be automatically issued by the court, even in your absence.
Anytime you receive a summons to go to court, it is important that you attend. In matters pertaining to child support, not appearing could result in you having to pay greater amounts of child support. While there are general guidelines courts follow in determining child support obligations, factors that could influence your case include:
● The income of both you and the child’s other parent;
● The total amount of both your assets and debts;
● The amount of time the child spends in your care;
● Whether you have other children for whom you currently provide support.
Penalties For Failing in Your Responsibility to Provide Child Support
Once a court order for child support is issued in your case, it is important to pay this amount on time and in full. Failure to do so could result in the following penalties:
● Wage garnishment;
● Seizure of assets in bank accounts;
● Seizure of Veteran’s or Social Security benefits;
● Seizure of any tax refunds or lottery winnings you may be entitled to;
● Suspension of your driving privileges and any professional licenses you hold.
If you are having problems meeting your child support obligations, there are options. The Texas Attorney General’s office advises paying what you can to show you are trying to comply with the court order. You should also consult with an experienced family law attorney, who can advise you on seeking a child support modification.
Contact Our Pearland, TX Child Support Attorney Today
To protect yourself against the penalties for not paying child support, reach out to attorney John Powell, III immediately if you are having trouble meeting your obligation. To schedule a consultation, call or contact our Pearland, TX child support attorney today.