What Are The Penalties For Failing To Pay Child Support In Texas?

The State of Texas takes failing to pay child support very seriously; you can face several different types of penalties. These penalties include contempt, liens/foreclosures, suspension of licenses and child support liens.

Failure to pay child support obligations is punishable by coercive and punitive contempt. A motion for enforcement by contempt can be filed with the court. A motion for enforcement may be filed by the parent to whom the child support obligation is owed or by the Office of Attorney General. If the court finds the non-paying party to be guilty, they face incarceration for up to six months, fines and paying attorney’s fees. If a nonpaying party fails to make an appearance at an enforcement hearing, the court may issue a capias, which is a warrant for arrest.

Parents who fail to pay child support can also face the following penalties:

  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Denial of tax refunds or other government benefits
  • Garnishment of wages
  • Liens placed against real property
  • Denial of hunting, boating or professional licenses
  • Jail Sentence
  • Probation
  • Fines and Court Costs
  • Attorney Fees

A court may find a party in contempt and sentence them to jail but suspend the sentence and place a party on community supervision. Provisions of such probation can include a payment schedule for making up owed support as well as the requirement that all support payments be made on time. Should a party fail to follow the terms of probation, it may be revoked and that party ordered to serve the originally ordered jail time.