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Contempt of Court in a Child Support Case

In Texas, the parent who has a child less of the time is generally the one who pays child support payments; this parent is sometimes referred to as the “non-custodial parent.” How much child support does a parent have to pay? It depends on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children who need to be financially supported.

If you will be ordered to pay child support in the near future, the Texas child support guidelines should be reviewed to estimate how much your payments would be. Also, if you are currently paying child support for other children, the state will take into account those payments – that is a bonus because not all states are willing to do that.

When Parents Have Trouble with Child Support

It happens all of the time: A parent is ordered to pay child support, but circumstances change and the non-custodial parent cannot afford to pay child support. All too often, parents in this situation cease paying child support altogether thinking, “I lost my job, so I don’t have to pay child support.” Doing nothing in this scenario would be a grave mistake.

Unfortunately, child support payments do not stop accruing because a non-custodial parent is injured in an accident, becomes ill, or loses his or her job. What’s more, a non-custodial parent cannot stop paying child support because their ex refuses to let them see their children. Instead, the arrearages continue to accrue.

If this goes on for too long without being rectified, the paying parent potentially faces wage garnishment, bank account garnishment, driver’s license suspension, passport denial, tax refund intercept, and more. The failure to pay child support as ordered by the court can also lead to contempt of court charges.

What is Contempt of Court?

The term “contempt of court” can mean different things. It can mean rudeness or disrespectfulness towards the judge or attorneys in the courtroom. It can also occur when a party disobeys a court order, such as an order to pay child support. If someone is found “in contempt” because he or she failed to pay child support, the court can impose sanctions, such as jail or fines, or both. If a parent has a significant change in circumstances, they should immediately go to court and request a “downward modification” of their child support payments.

If you have a child support issue in Greater Houston or Katy, and are in need of a downward modification, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC.