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Unpaid child support increases 30 percent in 4 years in Texas

There are many reasons why a child support obligation may go unpaid, but the truth is that it is still a big issue across the United States and in Texas. A recent report in the Valley Morning Star relayed the hard data from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement surrounding this issue.

In 2008, the national unpaid child support debt owed by noncustodial parents added up to $105,548,155,058. At the end of the same year, 851,823 cases in arrears in Texas added up to $9,323,720,464. By the year 2012, those numbers had increased to $114,558,969,584 and $12,184,536,533, respectively.

In Texas, parents have a financial obligation to their child until the child reaches the age of 18. Under the child support guidelines, in general, about 20 percent of the noncustodial parent’s income should go to the child. This percentage can increase up to 40 percent for multiple children up to five. The Texas Attorney General can step in to facilitate the process when support goes unpaid.

Parents hire a Fort Worth family law attorney because dealing with unpaid child support can be a complicated enough issue when it involves two parents that live in the state. What about when the non-paying parent lives out of the state? Dealing with multiple jurisdictions is even more complicated.

Where multiple jurisdictions are involved, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General can step into the situation under certain circumstances to facilitate enforcement. This includes situations in which a parent is in arrears of more than $5,000, hasn’t paid for at least a year or moved into another jurisdiction for the sole purpose of avoiding payment.

Source: Valley Morning Star, “Child support back pay increases,” Bill Reagan, May 2, 2014

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