Your family members depend on you, even if your household circumstances change. As someone who shares custody of a child after a separation or divorce, your role may involve parenting time and paying child support. Just as your children depend on seeing a parent regularly, your ex will expect, and most likely depend on, receiving regular child support payments to help cover living expenses. Although you may do your best to fulfill your parental responsibilities, not everything is under your direct control.
The company that you work for could suddenly go out of business or you could be laid off, resulting in a frantic job search. Until you have income again, you may need to act to protect yourself from falling behind on your child support obligations.
Texas charges you interest
You may think that falling behind on child support isn’t the biggest concern in the midst of an unemployment crisis, but unpaid support can present a noteworthy hardship even after you get back to work. Texas will assess a 6% interest rate on all past-due child support. This can add up quickly and can often make it difficult to catch up even after you find a new job. Trying to make the payments currently due and catch up on the past-due payment can be hard enough without adding the extra cost of interest.
You could face enforcement efforts
If your ex depends on child support to pay rent or other crucial costs for their household, a sudden cessation of the payments can be a real hardship. They may go to the courts to ask for enforcement efforts. Even if they do not, the state of Texas may initiate enforcement actions when you fall into arrears, especially if the other parent of the children applies for any kind of state aid because of the loss of child support.
Rather than waiting to see what happens, you can take control of the situation by filing a child support modification request. You can go back to court and ask the court to reduce your child support until you find a new job, at which point you can seek to modify support again based on your new income.
Staying in control of your child support arrangements can help you avoid penalties like accruing interest, license suspension and even incarceration.