Houston Child Support
Houston family law attorney Robert Reid McInvale handles all child support legal matters with regard to litigation, enforcement, reduction, and modification throughout Texas. Issues with respect to the financial obligations of parents are addressed in the initial divorce decree, but that doesn’t guarantee circumstances won’t change or obligations will be met. Read on for more information about Houston support laws and child support collection.
Child support is usually granted to the “custodial” parent, or the parent who has legal custody of the child, and is paid by the “non-custodial parent,” or parent with whom the child does not primarily reside. Custodial parent may litigate because…
- Parent ordered to pay support is not making payments according to schedule and/or amount ordered
- Support payment is too low, due to promotion or other improvement of economic status of the paying parent
Non-custodial parent may go to court because:
- Support payment is now too high, due to loss of job or economic status
- Support is going to parent with whom child no longer primarily resides
In situations where the parent ordered to pay child support fails to do so according to the requirements outlined in the divorce decree, the parent to whom payments are owed has the right to request enforcement of the divorce decree. Enforcement measures can be used to collect past-due and regularly-scheduled support payments. These methods may include deducting support from the delinquent parent’s earnings, filing liens against his or her property, or even sending the parent to jail until they pay up. Contact us for help with child support collection in Houston.
In some cases, the amount of support ordered at the time of divorce becomes an issue because the paying parent is no longer earning the kind of money they did when the divorce decree was initially finalized. A parent who finds that they can no longer afford the same amount of child support can request a reduction in the amount they must pay. The court can then use Texas legal guidelines for child support payments as they relate to income and order a reduction accordingly.
Either the custodial or non-custodial parent can formally request a modification, or change to the child support requirements established in the divorce decree, via a formal motion to the court. The court that made the original child support award has the authority to modify the order if conditions changed for one or both parents that affect the original support arrangement.
Child Support Collection and Enforcement; Contempt:
Collecting child support from deadbeat parents is one of the most common problems that custodial parents have. There are numerous ways to collect child support, but there is some basic information that you must have in order to help Reid McInvale collect what you are owed, as follows:
- A copy of the divorce decree, paternity order, order in suit affecting parent-child relationship, or any other order that awarded you the right to be paid child support. Be aware that child support includes monthly payments, attorney fees if you were awarded them as child support, medical expenses not covered by insurance if the order characterizes them as child support, etc. Bring any such order to the meeting with Reid McInvale.
- Addresses, work or residence, for the deadbeat parent.
- Employment information about the deadbeat parent.
- Any information about bank accounts, real estate or other assets of the deadbeat parent.
Here are some common questions about child support collection:
- What is “contempt”: Contempt is the process of filing an action against the deadbeat for unpaid child support and alleging that the deadbeat is in contempt of court. If successful, the deadbeat may be put in jail by the judge. In order to avoid jail, many deadbeats miraculously find the money to pay some or all of the past-due child support. Sometimes the judge will also order the deadbeat to reimburse the custodial parent for any attorney fees.
- Are there statutes of limitation on amounts owed by deadbeats: There are some protections provided the deadbeat by law. That is why it is best to bring an action as soon as possible. However, there are interesting twists regarding the law in this area, so always check with a lawyer who knows this area of the law before giving up. You might be able to collect money that you thought was impossible to collect.
- My divorce was decades ago and the deadbeat is unemployed. What can I do: There is a recent case, in 2009, in which the divorce was granted in 1972. The kids were over 40 years old. The custodial parent came away satisfied, having been paid a large amount of money. You never know what is possible until you discuss the case with a lawyer. It is sometimes tough, but it is often possible to collect money that is long overdue and you had given up on.
No matter what assistance you need with your particular child support situation, or if you would like information about child support collection, the Houston-based law firm of Robert Reid McInvale can help.
Help with your divorce, child custody, or other family law issue is only a call away.