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Texans owe more than $12 billion in child support back pay

Every person who brings another life into this world has an obligation to take care of that life. There is a duty to make sure they are cared for, loved and have food to eat and clothes on their backs. In the case of a divorce, a judge may impose an added legal obligation to pay child support to meet at least some of these basic financial needs.

Sadly, for varying reasons, one parent often neglects to meet this duty and the other parent is left to financially support their children alone.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement has released a report on the delinquency of child support payments and it’s not a pretty picture. Nationally, in 2008, noncustodial parents owed a mind-boggling $105,548,155,058. By the year 2012, the last year that data are available that figure had soared to $114,558,969,584.

Texas had 851,823 cases of non-payment in 2008, a number that skyrocketed to 1,006,568 by 2012. Over that same period, the amount of back pay owed by Texans rose by 30 percent, shooting up from $9,323,720,464 in 2008 to an astronomical $12,184,536,533 in 2012.The number of total cases in the United States has stayed fairly even at roughly 11 million.

When parents neglect their child support payments, the Texas Attorney General can step in and take tax refunds, wages, and lottery winnings and even suspend or revoke the offender’s passport or driver’s license. If these measures are ignored, prison sentences and fines can be handed down.

Whether you are receiving or paying the child support, it’s vital to know your rights in these cases. A Texas family law attorney can help you determine the best course of action.

Source: valleymorningstar.com, “Child support back pay increases,” Bill Reagan, May 2, 2014

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