New Texas law has brought in over $1 million in child support

States have used various methods to incentivize parents who don't make their child support payments on time and/or in full to meet their responsibilities. Here in Texas, a program was introduced last September that denies people who are at least six months behind on their payments vehicle registration renewals.

Car owners receive adequate notice before their registration is revoked to become current on their payments. People impacted by the law receive a letter 90 days before their registration expires. Therefore, there should be no surprises when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew their registration.

According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, some six months in, the program has produced significantly positive results. As of March 31, Paxton says that the state has collected $1.17 million in overdue child support payments. He says that this money encompassed over 4,600 child support cases. While the average amount collected was $252, the largest amount collected from one parent was $54,000.

One county tax-assessor-collector stressed that the program isn't meant to penalize "those who are maybe a month or two behind," but to encourage people who have stopped making their mandated payments to begin making them again. Once a person makes a payment, the state releases the hold on the person's vehicle registration.

As Attorney General Paxton says, "This program is proving to be an effective tool in convincing delinquent parents to fulfill their most important obligation –-providing for their children."

If you are unable to make your child support payments because you've lost your job or have incurred some other sort of financial hardship, it's essential to contact your family law attorney so that you can notify the court and other arrangements can be made. Simply stopping payments, either because you can't afford to make them, you're angry with your ex or you believe that they are unfair, is never the solution. You can find yourself in legal jeopardy.

Source: KSAT Channel 12, "Program tying car registration to child support pays off for Texas," Van Darden, April 11, 2017

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