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License Suspensions for Failure to Pay Child Support in Texas

If you are new to the paying or receiving of child support in Texas, you may not be aware that local child support agencies have numerous enforcement tools at their disposal. Meaning, if a noncustodial parent falls behind on child support, the local child support agency has a number of methods to force the obligor to pay child support.

Just some of these enforcement methods include bank account levies, wage garnishment, intercepting the parent’s tax refund, placing a child support lien on the parent’s home, reporting to the credit bureaus, taking the parent’s lottery winnings, prohibiting them from obtaining a U.S. passport, and finally, license suspensions.

For the purposes of this post, we are going to focus on license suspensions because they can directly impact an obligor’s livelihood. Here is what you need to know.

Texas License Suspensions

All 50 states have enacted laws that suspend or revoke the licenses of noncustodial parents who fall behind on their child support payments, and Texas is no exception. Generally, each state has trigger criteria, which is either based off how much a parent must owe, or how far delinquent the parent has to be before license suspensions will go into effect.

Under Section 232 of the Texas Family Code, a noncustodial parent has to be in arrears of three months or more for his or her licenses to be suspended. The parent (obligor) will receive a notice in the mail about the impending license suspensions, and he or she has 20 days from the date of the notice or mailing to ask for a hearing.

In Texas, the following types of licenses are subject to suspension for the failure to pay child support:

  • Business license
  • Driver license
  • Occupational license
  • Professional license
  • Recreational license (e.g. hunting and fishing)

If you have fallen behind on your child support payments, and need assistance with a downward modification, lifting a license suspension, or another child support issue, we invite you to contact our Plano family law firm to meet with Attorney Camille R. Borg.