The Court has enormous power to enforce child support orders. In fact, regardless of the age of the child who was the object of a child support order, the court retains jurisdiction to enforce a child support order until “all current support, medical support, dental support, and child support arrearages, including interest and any applicable fees and costs, have been paid (Texas Family Code, Section 157.269).
The Court retains jurisdiction to render a contempt order for failure to comply with the child support order if the motion for enforcement is filed not later than the second anniversary of the date the child becomes an adult or on which the child support obligation terminates under the order or by operation of law. (Texas Family Code, Section 157.005).
Affirmative defenses to motions for enforcement of child support are very limited. Do not think you have a defense if you have not first had an experienced family lawyer review your defenses with you.
The person who is owed the child support (the obligee) can enforce payment by use of wage withhold orders, by liens filed against non-exempt property (other than a homestead), by seeking help from the appropriate office of the attorney general who can impose an IRS intercept on refunds payable to an obligor when he or she files his or her tax return, by seeking to levy funds that are located in banking institutions, by seeking confinement against an obligor for non-payment and by even seeking to have an obligor’s professional license suspended. Most of these measures are used to collect child support arrears that have been confirmed by court order.
The court can even order that an obligor be confined for non payment of child support, sometimes ordering confinement until the obligor makes a payment that the court deems sufficient to allow for release from confinement or ordering that the obligor actually serve a term of confinement as a punitive measure for non-payment.
At our law firm we have handled cases where the obligor is over 70 years of age and still has a record of unpaid child support. Although a child may have aged out and the court has lost jurisdiction to hold an obligor in contempt, the court still has jurisdiction to enforce collection of current and past due child support until all support and related costs are paid. Even pension funds are vulnerable to enforcement orders!
Non payment of child support is a serious matter. If you have any questions, either as a person seeking collection of unpaid child support or as obligor who owes back support, call us for an appointment. Call us at 915-593-6600 or at (915) 256-0579. We are here to help!