After the recent close of the federal fiscal year, child support agencies released their year-end figures for collections. One Texas city reported that it collected approximately $39.6 million through child support enforcement. Not all of these monies were the result of stringent enforcement methods, as only an estimated 10 percent of cases require advanced collection methods.
The majority of the money collected is the result of a cooperative effort by the Attorney General’s child support division office, district court clerks and the associate justices. Court orders are issued by the justices and then passed along for the appropriate enforcement methods. The majority of non-custodial parents make every effort to keep up with their support obligations. However, there may be situations that arise that may require modifications to these orders.
For the most part, support monies are paid through wage collections or voluntary payments from parents. The Attorney General will take a more active role in those cases where a parent is either unable or unwilling to pay. If a parent is experiencing financial difficulties through either a job loss or other circumstances, the courts may issue a temporary modification, lowering a parent’s obligations. In those cases where a parent displays an unwillingness to cooperate, he or she could face a possible jail sentence.
The agencies work together to help ease the process for parents to make their child support payments in a timely manner. In those cases where a parent refuses to cooperate over an extended period of time, the Attorney General’s office may forward a case to the District Attorney for formal charges. Texas parents who are struggling to make their payments, or are not receiving them in the manner ordered, may consult with an attorney in order to find the best resolution that will provide for their child’s needs.