While most people have a general notion that Texas is proactive when it comes to the collection of child support, they may not know exactly how effective and efficient state officials actually are in this regard.
To illustrate, federal data shows that for every $1 the state of Texas spends in seeking to collect/enforce child support, it collects almost $9 in child support. Furthermore, state officials have determined that the $2.9 billion in child support collected during 2009-2010 translated into $1.2 billion in public assistance savings.
“Texas operates what may be the best child support enforcement program in the nation,” said Celia Cole of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
What exactly is it that makes Texas routinely rank first when it comes to child support enforcement/collections?
One of the most effective yet simple methods of collection utilized by the state to collect back child support is wage garnishment. In fact, state officials estimate that roughly two-thirds of the child support collected can be attributed to withholding income from a delinquent parent’s paycheck.
Other effective collection methods utilized by Texas include:
- Confiscating federal income tax returns
- Freezing/confiscating assets held by banks/financial institutions
- Suspending drivers’ licenses and/or professional licenses
- Maintaining a website listing the “Texas Top 10 Most Wanted Child Support Evaders”
- Funding special child support enforcement units, including one which handles so-called cold cases and one which handles liens
Interestingly, state officials also offer the Texas Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) Choices program, which gives delinquent parents (with prior court approval) the opportunity to secure job training and pay back their child support over time.
(A recent study showed that most people who enter the NCP program are able to gain employment within eight weeks of completing their job training and often go on to pay child support more frequently and in greater amounts.)
“We are aggressive with the bad guys,” said Deputy Attorney General Alicia G. Key. “But we don’t treat everyone like a deadbeat dad. We have innovative programs to help others … and the NCP is a good example of that.”
To learn more about nonpayment of child support or other post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.
Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Bellingham Herald “Texas saves big money through effective child support enforcement” Sept. 22, 2011