It can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the paperwork, meetings, court hearings, and decisions being made on your behalf during a divorce. But after the dust settles and the divorce is finalized, it should be smooth sailing, right? Unfortunately, you may run into issues where your former spouse doesn’t comply with the court-ordered agreements. So what can you do if a former spouse stops paying their child support?
Missed Child Support Payments Violate Court Orders
If your ex-spouse is missing child support payments, they’ve violated court orders. They can face strict consequences for doing so. If you find this is happening to you, you can file a formal request to the court seeking the court to hold your former spouse in contempt. This is the legal procedure used to hold your former spouse accountable.
If you continue not to receive payment after the initial formal proceedings, another contempt action can be brought, often, judges assess a more severe punishment for repeat offenders. If child support is not paid in accordance with a court order, you may need to seek a clarification to confirm the past-due child support prior to bring an enforcement or contempt action. This means they will verify the amount past due, and your former spouse will be sent a letter regarding how much is owed.
Motion for Enforcement of Child Support Payments
If you, your attorney, and the court decide to file a motion for enforcement, there are a few things that could happen. A parent who chooses not to pay their child support may have their wages garnished, they may face jail time, they could receive a suspension of their driver’s license or passport, or they could have their income tax intercepted to cover missed payments.
Working with a skilled divorce, child custody, and support attorney can help you through this process. If it’s discovered that your former spouse no longer has the same income as they did when child support was initially agreed upon, you may need to go through a negotiation process to determine the new child support payments. This process can be challenged and differs on a case-by-case basis.
In Texas, child support can be modified whenever a co-parent has a major change in circumstances, whether it be a change in career, job, living situation, or more. In addition, every child support agreement can be reviewed every three years without a major change in circumstances. Having an attorney on your side who knows your case in and out can help you navigate each and every turn.
If you have child custody and support questions, please do not hesitate to contact The Stuart Firm at (432) 284-4411. We offer consultations, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you. We offer aggressive and passionate representation, and we’re ready to help you today.