In a recent development, the State of Texas has updated its Family Code to address the issue of unpaid child support payments, commonly referred to as child support arrearages. The revised Texas Family Code, specifically § 157.263, has brought about a significant change in the way child support arrearages are handled. Under this new law, it is crucial for both the person who owes child support and the recipient to understand that the owed amount cannot be reduced, regardless of the circumstances or who requests the reduction.
Understanding Child Support Arrearages
Child support arrearages are unpaid child support payments that accumulate over time. These arrearages can accrue for various reasons, such as changes in financial circumstances or failure to meet the court-ordered child support obligations. Traditionally, individuals could seek a reduction or modification of child support arrearages if they could demonstrate a valid reason for doing so.
The Impact of the Updated Texas Family Code
The recent update to the Texas Family Code, specifically § 157.263, signifies a significant shift in the state’s approach to child support arrearages. Under this new law, the owed amount cannot be lowered, regardless of the circumstances or who seeks the reduction. This means that both the person obligated to pay child support and the recipient must abide by the original court-ordered child support amounts without any possibility of reducing the arrearages.
Implications for Obligors and Recipients
- Obligors (Individuals Who Owe Child Support): If you are the obligor and have accrued child support arrearages, it is essential to be aware of this change in the law. You will be obligated to pay the full amount of child support arrearages as originally ordered by the court. Failing to do so can have legal consequences, including wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and even potential jail time.
- Recipients (Custodial Parents or Guardians): Recipients of child support must also understand that they cannot request a reduction in the arrearages owed to them under this updated law. It is crucial to keep accurate records of all child support payments and arrearages, and if you encounter difficulties, seek legal counsel for guidance on how to proceed.
The updated Texas Child Custody law, outlined in Texas Family Code § 157.263, has established a clear and unyielding stance on child support arrearages. Regardless of whether it is the obligor or recipient seeking a reduction, the owed amount cannot be lowered. Both parties involved in child support arrangements should be well-informed about these changes and ensure compliance with their respective obligations under the law. It is advisable to seek legal advice to navigate any complexities related to child support arrearages in the state of Texas.
Contact Springer & Lyle
At Springer & Lyle, we are committed to providing expert legal guidance on family law matters, including child support issues. If you have questions regarding child support or any other family law matter, please contact experienced Springer & Lyle attorney Daniel Abasolo at 940.387.0404 to schedule a consultation. Springer & Lyle is located at 1807 Westminster, Denton, Texas 76205.