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TX family lawyerIf your divorced spouse is violating a court order and failing to pay owed child support in Texas, you have legal options to pursue enforcement or recover the payments with a lawyer. Here are actions you can take when facing unpaid support.

File an Enforcement Motion

The first step is filing a motion with the court that issued the child support order, requesting formal enforcement proceedings due to nonpayment. Be sure to thoroughly document all missed child support payments in the motion. The court can then hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court for violating its lawful child support order. Potential consequences include wage garnishment, property liens, and even jail time in serious willful violation cases.

Seek License Suspension

Under Texas law, the court has authority to suspend any professional or recreational licenses held by a non-paying parent. This includes driver’s licenses, hunting/fishing licenses, and occupational/business licenses. Suspending these privileges often provides additional motivation to fulfill their child support duties.


North Texas Family Law AttorneyEvery parent has a legal duty to provide the resources needed to ensure their child is taken care of, including food, clothing, and shelter. Even if the child does not live with the parent, they still must meet that legal duty. Child support is an obligation that every non-custodial parent in Texas is required to pay. It can also become one of the most contentious topics between co-parents. It is not uncommon for the parent who is been ordered to pay the support (the obligor) to resent handing over money to their ex-spouse or partner (the obligee), often losing sight of the fact that the money ultimately is going to the care of their child and not to support their ex.

The following is a brief overview of child support in Texas. If you have specific questions or concerns, a child support attorney can help.

How Do Texas Courts Calculate Child Support?

Child support in Texas is calculated based on a percentage of the obligor’s monthly net income and is broken down as follows:


Collin County family law attorneyThe calendar has flipped over to November, which means that the winter holiday season is fast approaching. Starting with Thanksgiving later this month, many families will celebrate several holidays over the weeks that follow, possibly including the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve/New Year's Day.

Planning your celebrations is difficult enough for any family, but it can be especially challenging if you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse. With this in mind, it is important to know what your custody agreement says and to begin making arrangements now so that your children can make the most of this year's holiday season.

Review Your Established Holiday Custody Schedule

If you and your co-parent have already established a holiday custody schedule, the first step is to review it to make sure that it is still accurate and up to date. You may find that your overall situation has changed since you originally created it, or that your family’s holiday plans have changed. If any changes need to be made, talk to your co-parent about them as soon as possible so that you can come to an agreement.


North Texas Child Support LawyerWhen you are the parent with primary custody of your child, you are likely entitled to receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent. Or, more accurately, your child is entitled to be financially supported by both parents no matter what. Calculating the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay can be a bit tricky, as there are a lot of variables in the equation. It will depend on the amount and type of income the payor receives and the number of children they have, among other factors. It can be difficult to predict the exact amount of child support you and your child will receive, but an attorney may be able to help you arrive at a good estimate. 

Calculating Monthly Income

Perhaps the most important factor affecting the amount of child support payments is the payor’s monthly income. If the payor’s net income is under $9,200 per month, they could be ordered to pay between 20% if they have one child and over 40% if they have more than six children. For purposes of calculating child support, monthly income includes: 

  • Wages - This includes any money the parent earns by working. It encompasses money earned by self-employment or a business they own, tips, paychecks, overtime, commissions, and bonuses. Income earned by a new spouse does not count.


Frisco family lawyerBetween housing, groceries, extracurricular fees, and childcare expenses, raising a child can be expensive. If you are a parent, you know this first-hand. Child support payments can help an unmarried or divorced parent cover child-related costs, however, getting the child support you need and deserve is not always easy. If you are not currently receiving any financial support from your child’s other parent, you should know that there are steps you can take to establish child support or enforce your current child support order. An experienced family law attorney can help.

Make Sure You Have an Official Child Support Order

In an ideal world, every parent would do his or her share to ensure that his or her child’s financial needs were met. In reality, many parents try to avoid child support. This is why it is important for every parent to obtain a formal child support order from the court. If you and your child’s other parent had a verbal agreement about how much money he or she would pay you each month, the state does not have any authority to recover the past-due payments from the other parent.

Two Ways to Enforce Payment of Child Support in Texas

If you have a court order requiring the other parent to pay child support, there are a few different ways that you can enforce that order. In Texas, The Office of the Attorney General houses a Child Support Division helps parents recover payments from a non-paying parent. The state has the authority to set up wage withholding, impose property liens, intercept tax refunds, suspend the parent’s driver’s license, and more.

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