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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Facts about child support in Texas

Of the $26 billion disbursed nationally for child support payments in 2013, $3.5 billion went to children in the state of Texas. A recent study of statistics on child support payments shows their fundamental importance to the proper functioning of a large number of homes.

Non-custodial parents in Texas collectively owe as much as $11 billion in late child support payments. The Child Support Division of the Office of the Texas Attorney General is the agency responsible for compelling parents to pay their due. In the year 2013 alone there were approximately 17 million children across America who required intervention from legal authorities in order to get their parents to pay for their support. It has been estimated that states are successful in their attempts to enforce payment only about 60 percent of the time.

It has been noted that the prompt payment of child support reduces the poverty rate among single mothers by 25 percent. A variety of methods are available to enforce the payment of these obligations, including wage garnishment. It is also possible in some cases to have a percentage of certain Social Security benefits that would otherwise be sent to the delinquent parent garnished as well.

Although some parents simply refuse to honor their commitments, there are others who are unable to comply with an existing support order due to an adverse change in financial circumstances. In such an event, a family law attorney can assist in requesting a modification. It is important to note that if one is granted, a modification will only cover the amount of payments to be made in the future. It will have no effect on any amounts that are past due and which will continue to be owed.

Source: Valley Morning Star, "Child support payments make big difference," Bill Reagan, March 13, 2015

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