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Penalties for Texans behind on child support about to get harsher

When a parent is behind on making child support payments, the penalties can impact virtually every aspect of his or her life. States vary on what those penalties are. Texas is considered to have some of the country's harshest.

Currently, people can have their driver's licenses, recreational licenses and professional licenses revoked. Now things will soon get worse for Texas parents who haven't made their child support payments in awhile. Starting later this year, parents who are six months or more behind on child support won't be able to renew the registration for their vehicle.

The new measure, which is scheduled to begin being used in December, has been met with some concern. As one Austin attorney pointed out, it will make it even harder for people to get to their jobs or to find a job. Without work, they're even less likely to be able to pay child support or to have wages that can be garnished if they don't. He said, "I think it's really bad in terms of public policy…. [i]f you're wanting people to pay child support, it would be really good if you could provide them with the means to earn a living."

If you are having a difficult time making your child support payments, it's essential to talk to a family law attorney. If your payments higher than you can afford, you can ask the court to change the amount of your obligations, at least temporarily. It's never wise to simply not pay or to pay less than is due. The consequences are too serious.

Source: Downtown Austin-UT Patch, "Texas Attorney General's Office Links Child Support Payments To Vehicle Registration Renewals," Tony Cantu, June 14, 2016

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