Can I still collect child support even if my former spouse lives in a different state?
Yes. Texas has passed an act that provides for interstate collection of child support. This act sets up the method for enforcement of support orders where the parties live in different states. Essentially, the party seeking enforcement files a petition in his or her home state. That petition is transmitted to the payor parent’s home state and he or she is brought into the court of that state and the court enforces support.
Can my former spouse file for bankruptcy to avoid paying child support?
No. The federal bankruptcy code exempts child support and alimony. Even if a former spouse files for, and receives relief from all debts, the child support obligation will not be relieved.
How is child support calculated?
Texas has “child support guidelines” that applies a percentage to the non-custodial parent’s net income. It is from this percentage that the child support is calculated. For one child the percentage is 20%, two it is 25%, and three it is 30%.
What income is included in the calculation?
Child support is awarded based on reported wages of the payor, as demonstrated by income tax returns and pay stubs, including overtime and bonuses.
What can I do to enforce payment of child support?
There are many enforcement devices available in Texas. These include wage garnishments, making a negative report to credit reporting agencies, collecting past-due child support from lottery prizes won by the payor parent, intercepting tax refunds due the payor parent from the IRS, seizure of the non-paying parents property, obtaining a court order directing that the payor parent post cash deposit to secure payment of support, suspending state issued licenses such as driver’s license, obtaining a court order placing the defaulting parent on probation, and lastly, usually where other methods have all failed, obtaining a court order sentencing the defaulting parent to serve jail time.
Who has to pay child support?
In Texas, court orders will specify which party is responsible for payment, and it is generally the party that does not have the right to designate the residence of the child.