A financial windfall such as a new job, promotion, an inheritance or a lottery win may provide the boost you need to get back on track with child support payments. If you have experienced an improvement in your financial status and want to resolve back child support payments, it is important to remember these five things.
1. It Takes Courage to Act.
Parents who fall behind on child support payments in the state of Texas face a wide range of penalties, including suspension of driving privileges, garnishment of wages, fines and court costs, and even jail time.
Coming forward to resolve your past due child support payments can be frightening. But, remember, not acting can lead to even more significant penalties.
2. Work Within the System.
In Texas, the Office of the Attorney General oversees the payment and administration of child support. If you have recently enjoyed a financial windfall and wish to address back child support payments, be sure to do so through the OAG’s official channels. Do not simply hand your former spouse a check or cash—such a transaction will not be tracked by the OAG and can be disputed by your former spouse. Be sure to make all payments through the OAG’s official channels, including online, over the phone, by mail or at a TouchPay kiosk.
3. Reviewing Your Support Decree May Be Helpful.
The OAG’s system is not perfect—it may be possible that the amount you are assessed for child support is incorrect. Reviewing your child support decree before taking steps to resolve a back child support balance may help you avoid over- or underpayment.
4. Your Support Amount May Change.
In Texas, you can request modification of a child support decree based on many factors, most notably either parent’s income. If your windfall is significant enough, your former spouse may seek to alter the decree.
5. An Attorney’s Guidance May Help.
While it is legally and logistically possible to address a past-due child support balance without the guidance of an attorney, consider seeking the opinion of a legal expert before acting. An attorney’s guidance may help you avoid or reduce any penalties that have been assessed for non-payment of child support. An attorney may also help you understand your current child support decree and the potential for a future modification based on your new financial situation.
Contact Me to Discuss Your Case Today
If you have recently come into a large sum of money and wish to resolve a past-due child support balance, I can help. As an experienced Texas family lawyer, I have the knowledge and insight needed to help you understand your current child support decree, and the best strategies for resolving your child support debt quickly, effectively and painlessly.
To schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation, contact my Fort Worth family law firm today.