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Child support


If a parent fails to make child support payments, the other parent may file a motion for contempt to bring the issue before the court. A motion for contempt—as the name implies—is based on the uncooperative party’s contempt for the judge/court’s child support order. Ignoring the court’s order will have serious potential consequences, including loss of custody or visitation rights, and payment of the other parent’s attorney fees and costs in filing the motion for contempt (coercive civil contempt). And in some cases of repeated failures to comply with the child support order, the court may punish the uncooperative parent with jail time (criminal contempt).

In Texas, if a parent fails to make court-ordered child support payments, the other parent can file a motion for enforcement or contempt with the court. This motion is a legal action taken to address the non-paying parent's disregard for the court's order. The consequences of such an action can be significant. The court may order various enforcement measures, including wage garnishment, liens on property, or suspension of licenses (driver's, professional, etc.). Additionally, the court may order the non-paying parent to pay the other parent's attorney fees and court costs associated with the enforcement action. In cases of severe or repeated non-compliance, the court has the authority to hold the non-paying parent in criminal contempt, which can result in jail time. The court also has the discretion to modify custody or visitation arrangements if it finds that the failure to pay child support is indicative of a broader disregard for the welfare of the child.

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