There is approximately $11 billion in back child support owed across the state of Texas. It is estimated that about half of all parents owing child support are at least one month behind.
Currently the Texas Attorney General’s Office does what it can to get parents to comply with their child support obligations. While collectors for the state are being asked to collect these obligations, we are also seeing more parents requesting that their child support obligations be lowered.
The large number of parents being behind on their obligations is at least somewhat tied to the economy. Many parents lost jobs during the economic downturn so it’s not surprising to discover that unpaid child support obligations peaked in 2009.
Still, as family law attorneys we also understand there may be other reasons the amount of unpaid child support is so high. Too often parents are still fighting battles that should have been resolved when the divorce had taken place. Parents are still angry at each other and forget that support payments are designed for the benefit of the children rather than as a penalty for a parent.
There are other ways to approach the child support problem than wait for state authorities to act. Attorneys can seek enforcement of child support orders through the courts and through garnishments or liens. In certain instances modifications to child support orders can be made to make certain that such orders are followed.
Every family law matter concerning children revolves around what is in the best interest of the child. Each parent has an obligation to work together with the other parent, if possible, to achieve that goal.
Source: KTXS 12, “Report: Unpaid child support in Texas nearly $11B,” Oct. 1, 2012