In any divorce involving children, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support to help the custodial parent with the expenses associated with raising the children. The Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is the agency responsible for enforcing orders related to child support.
Whether you are the parent who pays child support or the one who receives child support, you might have to deal with the child support office from time to time for various reasons. Here are five useful tips from a seasoned Texas child support lawyer that can help you deal with the child support office, as and when it becomes necessary.
For Non-Custodial Parents
Do Not Stop Paying Child Support Abruptly for Any Reason
Failing to pay child support in Texas can have serious consequences. The OAG can take several steps to enforce the child support order, which can range from license suspension to jail sentence. So, even if you are unable to meet your child support obligations to the fullest extent, try to pay as much as you can and contact a Texas child support lawyer immediately.
If you have a legitimate reason for not paying child support (job loss, financial losses, or illness), your lawyer might be able to negotiate with your ex-spouse, modify your child support order if needed, and make sure the OAG does not take any punitive measures against you.
Defending Yourself against Child Support Enforcement Action by the OAG
If you fail to inform your ex-spouse about your inability to pay child support and get the child support order modified in a timely manner, the OAG might take legal action against you. In this scenario, it is absolutely important for you to be represented by a Texas child support lawyer who can defend you and make sure you are not punished unfairly.
For Custodial Parents
Make Sure All Your Child-Related Expenses Are Accounted For
Make sure you submit the records related to your child’s expenses, which include:
- Cost of schooling
- Cost of extracurricular activities
- Cost of childcare
- Health and dental insurance for the children
- Healthcare expenses associated with raising specially-abled children
If you fail to mention some of the expenses associated with raising your children, the court might not take it into account while calculating the child support payment. Once the order is issued, the OAG cannot modify it, but only enforce it. Only the court which issued the order can modify it.
Taking Action over Unpaid Child Support
If your ex-spouse is not paying child support, contact your Texas child support lawyer immediately. It might be possible that your ex is unable to pay child support due to genuine reasons. In such a scenario, your lawyer might be able to talk to your ex-spouse and their lawyer and find a mutually beneficial solution before the OAG takes any enforcement action.
Enforcing the Child Support Order
If your ex-spouse deliberately tries to avoid paying child support, you can seek help from your Texas child support lawyer to recover the pending amount. It is not advisable to contact the OAG directly, as they might be overwhelmed with cases similar to yours and might not be able to recover the dues in a timely manner. Your attorney can take the necessary steps to expedite the process of recovering the child support arrears as quickly as possible.
Contact a Trusted Texas Child Support Lawyer
The Law Office of Willie & Dasher has represented scores of Texas residents in child support related cases. Led by Eric M. Willie, who is one of the most successful child support lawyers in Texas, we work with custodial as well as non-custodial parents to resolve child support related issues in an amicable, mutually beneficial manner. We can also take legal action to enforce child support orders if and when needed.
If you want to modify or enforce a court-issued child support order or if you have any questions related to child support, call our firm today at 512-478-0834 or fill out this contact form for a free and confidential consultation with one of our family law attorneys.