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Texas parents with late child support denied registration renewal

Monday, July 16, 2018

The state of Texas is demonstrating its determination to hold non-custodial parents accountable for court-ordered support. A new program instituted by the Attorney General's office requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to deny renewals for any vehicle registered to a parent who is behind in child support payments for six months or more. The objective of the program is to bring parents into compliance with court orders and to make sure children receive the money they are due.

The DMV issues warning letters to such parents two months before their registration is due, allowing them time to post their payments. So far, over $160,000 in delinquent child support has been collected. Some opponents of the measure worry that it will affect low-income families by denying them registration to vehicles they may need for work. These parents may be struggling to come up with support payments, not merely dodging them.

Vehicles that are jointly registered or registered to other family members are exempt from the new regulation. Because of this, some are transferring their registration to the names of other people to avoid losing the use of their vehicles. The rule also applies only to renewals, so some are side-stepping the rule by purchasing new vehicles.

Over 7,000 parents in Texas have received warnings about delinquent child support payments. About 500 of those parents have arranged payment plans. Those who are having difficulty making their payments have the option of contacting an attorney for help with filing a hardship modification. An attorney can assist them with the necessary documentation and with exploring options for avoiding future child support issues.

Source: dallasnews.com, "New program linking vehicle registration to child support sees uptick in payments", Madlin Mekelburg, Dec. 22, 2016

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