How Much Back Child Support is a Felony in Texas?

In Texas, the non-payment of child support can transition from a civil issue to a significant legal problem, potentially resulting in a state jail felony charge. This generally occurs when the outstanding amount is equivalent to or exceeds a full year’s worth of payments. However, the particular application of the law varies depending on unique circumstances, including the terms of the current child support order and the length of time that payments have been in arrears.

Whether you are struggling to enforce child support payments or you’re grappling with an existing child support order, it’s vital to know your rights and responsibilities under Texas law. Legal guidance can significantly ease the process, and The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC is committed to helping you navigate these challenging situations.

For immediate help, reach out at 832-471-6904.

Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC Are Uniquely Prepared to Handle Your Case

The unique blend of criminal defense and family law at The Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC makes them an ideal choice for handling cases that intersect these two areas, such as a situation where unpaid child support escalates to a felony charge.

From the family law perspective, our experienced attorneys understand child support laws, orders, and enforcement intricacies. We can help you navigate the complex legal process, represent your interests in court, and work towards solutions that uphold the welfare of the child while considering the financial realities of the non-custodial parent.

We can also assist in seeking modifications to existing child support orders when circumstances change significantly, helping to prevent such legal issues from arising in the first place.

From the criminal defense angle, we offer vital representation for those facing felony charges due to unpaid child support. Our team is experienced in defending clients against severe consequences like jail time, license suspensions, and significant fines. We understand the criminal justice system and can craft a robust defense strategy, aiming to protect your rights and freedom.

At The Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC, we are not only equipped to handle each aspect of these complex cases but can also offer a comprehensive legal approach that many other firms can’t match. If you’re dealing with child support issues that have escalated to a criminal charge, our firm stands ready to deliver the knowledgeable, dedicated representation you need.

Child Support in Texas

In Texas, child support is a legal obligation imposed on noncustodial parents to provide financial support for their children. It is generally determined by the noncustodial parent’s income and the number of children they have to support.

Child support orders issued by a court define how much child support the noncustodial parent is required to pay. Adhering to these orders is crucial for the well-being of the children involved. The payments facilitate covering the child’s day-to-day expenses, healthcare, education, and other needs.

Noncompliance with a child support order can lead to severe legal consequences. The unpaid child support accumulates over time, becoming “back child support” or “past due child support.” Paying child support in Texas isn’t just a moral obligation but also a legal one that, if neglected, could lead to penalties, including, in serious cases, a felony charge.

When Does Unpaid Child Support Become a Felony in Texas?

In Texas, unpaid child support payments can escalate into a serious legal issue, potentially leading to a state jail felony charge. This typically happens when the noncustodial parent has not paid child support for a child who is under 18, and the unpaid amount equals or surpasses the total pay for one year. The specifics of the law depend on individual circumstances, including the existing child support order and the duration of non-payment.

Texas law is stringent when it comes to unpaid child support. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 25.05, an individual can be charged with a state jail felony if they intentionally or knowingly fail to provide support for their child, as ordered by the court.

Furthermore, the Texas Family Code allows for the enforcement of child support payments in several ways, including wage garnishment, liens on property, revocation of licenses, and incarceration as a last resort.

As these laws can be complicated, an experienced family law attorney is a valuable resource for navigating the complexities and understanding your rights and obligations.

The Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support

Non-payment of child support has serious consequences in Texas. A state jail felony in Texas can result in a jail sentence of “up to six months” in a state jail. It’s a severe charge that can have long-lasting implications on an individual’s personal and professional life.

In addition to the risk of a state jail felony, failing to pay child support can trigger several enforcement measures. The Child Support Division has the power to enforce court-ordered child support payments in multiple ways:

  • Seizing Bank Accounts

The unpaid child support amount can be collected by seizing the non-custodial parent’s bank accounts.

  • Withholding Income Tax Return

The state can intercept federal and state income tax refunds to cover the unpaid child support.

  • License Suspension

Professional, driver’s, and recreational licenses can be suspended until the unpaid child support is paid.

These measures aim to ensure that the custodial parent and child receive the same financial benefits they would have received if the child support payments had been made promptly. It’s important for both parties involved in a child support case to understand these potential outcomes.

Seeking Legal Help for Child Support Cases

The complexities of child support cases, especially when unpaid child support accumulates to a level that may constitute a felony, necessitate the involvement of an experienced family law attorney.

A seasoned attorney will understand the nuances of Texas child support laws, have experience dealing with the child support division, and can effectively navigate court proceedings. They can provide advice on how to handle back child support, negotiate repayment plans, and represent non-custodial parents in court if necessary.

At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, our attorneys have a deep understanding of Texas child support laws and have vast experience handling child support cases, including those that involve significant amounts of unpaid child support. We can help protect your rights, offer guidance, and represent you in court.

Related FAQs

Yes, consistent failure to pay child support can result in an arrest warrant being issued. This is usually a last resort measure after all other enforcement methods have failed.

Yes, Texas occasionally offers amnesty programs for parents with unpaid child support. These programs aim to help parents get back on track with payments by offering to waive certain penalties.

Yes, if you fall behind on child support payments, Texas law allows for the suspension of your driver’s, professional, and recreational licenses.

If the non-custodial parent isn’t paying child support, you should contact The Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC. We can help you negotiate with the other parent and provide legal advice on the best course of action. If negotiations fail, our team can guide you through the process of filing a motion for enforcement in court, which can lead to the non-custodial parent being legally compelled to pay.

Yes, an experienced family law attorney from The Love DuCote Law Firm, LLC, can provide advice, help negotiate payment plans, or even represent you in court if you’re facing felony charges due to unpaid child support.

If your financial situation changes significantly, you can request a modification of your child support order. You will need to provide proof of your change in circumstances. An attorney can assist you with this process.

Child support evaders are individuals who deliberately avoid paying child support payments. They often violate court orders and can face severe penalties, including criminal charges in Texas.

Yes, retroactive child support may be ordered in Texas. It refers to the child support that was due and unpaid from the time of separation until the time the court order was established.

While partial payments may temporarily alleviate some financial strain, it’s important to understand that they do not fulfill the full obligation of the pay child support payments as stipulated by your child support order. Non-payment or underpayment can lead to enforcement actions.

Your Partner in Understanding Child Support Laws in Texas

When it comes to matters as intricate and consequential as child support issues in Texas, you deserve nothing but the best legal support. The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC is dedicated to offering comprehensive legal assistance that is tailored to your unique circumstances. Whether you need help understanding child support laws, dealing with back child support, or navigating through a possible felony charge due to unpaid child support, we are here for you.

Don’t navigate these complex waters alone. We are committed to providing the support, advice, and representation you need during this challenging time. Your child’s future and your peace of mind are too important to leave to chance. Let our experienced family law attorneys guide you through the process.

Get in touch with us today at 832-471-6904 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you in your child support case.