Once you and your co-parent have decided on the amount of child support the non-custodial parent will pay, you must decide on a payment method. It is important to note that multiple options are available, and some may better suit your needs than others.
A local lawyer could help you review the payment options and ensure you thoroughly understand them. From there, a child support attorney could help select the method that works for you. Call our firm today to discuss the process of child support payments in The Colony with a knowledgeable legal professional.
Texas Family Code §154.003 offers the paying parent flexibility in how they will meet their support obligation. The method a couple chooses depends on many financial and personal factors. Most families select periodic payments, and the paying parent makes the child support payments monthly or weekly.
An annuity could be a good option in some circumstances. Parents considering the annuity process for child support payments should consult an attorney in The Colony about any tax implications.
The law also allows a parent to set aside property, pensions, or retirement benefits to cover their child support. A parent could use a combination of income sources to meet their support obligations.
Parents have substantial flexibility in deciding how to transfer the child support payments between the paying and receiving parent. Parents should realistically assess their strengths and weaknesses as money managers and decide on the method that is most likely to ensure their children receive the support they deserve.
Some parents opt for a paycheck deduction. The employer deducts the employee’s support obligation from their paycheck and deposits it in the receiving parent’s account. This option works well when the paying parent has secure employment and relieves the paying parent of the obligation to keep track of when payments are due.
The Attorney General’s Office oversees child support matters in Texas. It allows parents to pay into an account, and the receiving parent can access the money. Texas Family Code §154.004 requires parents paying support under a court order to manage their payments through the Attorney General’s State Disbursement Unit.
Handling payments this way allows the AG to track payments, making enforcement easier if a parent falls into arrears. The paying parent could make their payment using cash, credit card, personal check, or money order. The AG’s office can also handle payments made through payroll deductions. If someone has further questions about these child support payment processes, they should enlist the guidance of a seasoned attorney in The Colony.
If a paying parent falls into arrears, the receiving parent could open a case with the AG’s Child Support Division. The AG’s office has broad powers to enforce a child support order. They could suspend the paying parent’s driver’s license or professional license, garnishee their wages, or seize tax refunds, among other possible remedies.
However, the AG is a bureaucracy, and results can be slow. A parent not receiving court-ordered child support could return to court and ask the judge to enforce the order. If the parent in arrears does not present a reasonable excuse for non-payment, the judge could impose multiple sanctions, including finding them in contempt of court and sentencing them to jail.
A court could modify the child support order if the parent has a satisfactory reason for non-payment. However, the modification is not retroactive, and the parent would still need to bring the arrears up to date. An attorney in The Colony could guide a parent through the process of prosecuting or defending a court action to secure missing child support payments.
If you are a parent living apart from your co-parent, determining the amount of child support is just the beginning. Choosing an optimal method of payment could get complicated in some cases.
Talk to a local attorney about the process of child support payments in The Colony. A savvy legal professional could help you design a payment method that works well for your family. Call our firm today.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.