Under Texas law, every parent has a legal responsibility to provide financial support to meet their child’s basic needs. If the parents do not live together, then the non-custodial parent (the parent whom the child does not live with physically) is ordered to pay the custodial parent (the parent the child does live with) child support to help cover the child’s needs.

Unfortunately, some non-custodial parents think they should not have to pay their ex-partner any money – despite being court-ordered to do so – and will refuse to pay. There are even situations where a noncustodial parent will quit their job just to avoid paying. However, a new Texas law will penalize parents who do not pay child support. If your ex refuses to pay child support, a Texas family law attorney can help.

How Is Child Support Determined?

Although many noncustodial parents feel that the amount of child support they have been ordered to pay is unfair, the actual amount is based on their income using a formula set by the state. The court will calculate the parent’s net income. The amount the parent will pay is a percentage of that income and that percentage is set based on how many children are covered under the court order. For one child, the amount is 20 percent. An additional five percent is added on for each additional child, (i.e., 25 percent for two children).

Intentionally Quitting a Job

In order to try to get out of paying support, some parents will quit their jobs, reasoning that if they have no provable income, they will not have to pay support. In the past, there was little recourse the court had in these situations, but earlier this year, Texas lawmakers passed a new law that gives judges the authority to take certain steps if a parent intentionally quits their job.

Under the new law, if a noncustodial parent claims they cannot pay their child support because they are not working, the court can not only order them to get a job, but it can also find a job for them. The parent cannot refuse the job. If they do, the court can find them in contempt and the parent could be facing serious ramifications.

The new law goes into effect on September 1, 2023.

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Family Lawyer

If your ex refuses to pay child support, a Dallas, TX child support attorney from Clark Law Group can help. Call 469-765-3910 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out what legal options you may have.