For many Texas parents, economic difficulties make it a challenge to make ends meet each month. For those who also have child support obligations, making these payments can be a struggle. Texas law is very clear about the fact that non-custodial parents are expected to contribute to the care and support of their children. When a parent is struggling and fails to pay his or her child support, the penalties can be significant.
The problem of unpaid child support has a tendency to snowball. The missed payments simply pile up, and interest can accrue on the unpaid balance. This results in a scenario that only worsens over time. One common example come from parents who are unable to pay their child support due to incarceration. Their obligation to make payments does not cease when they are sent to jail or prison, even though they have no ability to earn an income of make those payments during that time. In the end, some parents in this situation are released with a child support debt in the tens of thousands.
So, what can be done about it?
For non-custodial parents who are struggling with a growing mountain of unpaid child support debt, the most important step to take is the first. Addressing the issue is an absolute necessity, as the issue will not resolve itself on its own and continue to snowball. In cases in which the non-custodial parent has a legitimate reason for failing to pay and a willingness to make things right, Texas courts are amenable to coming to a solution. However, in order to reach a satisfactory outcome, it is important to approach a family court BEFORE being hauled in for failure to pay. Waiting to long to bring your problem to the courts can result in you still being responsible for some or all of the missed amount.