Texas Enforces Child Support with License Renewal Denials

Following a recent Texas Attorney General’s office rule update, the state will begin implementing a new child support enforcement strategy in December, which involves preventing driver’s licenses from being renewed. The new tool will be eligible for use against any parent that has not made a child support payment within the last six months. The Attorney General’s office could previously revoke driver’s licenses and licenses pertaining to both professions and recreational activities; the new ruling adds a new barrier by being able to block renewals after a natural expiration or a revocation.

Texas is currently the top state in the country for collecting on child support payments. In the previous fiscal year, it collected close to $4 billion, which was the most collected by any single state within the last nine years. The state hopes that the additional enforcement tool, which will widely be implemented by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), will only further increase their proficiency in collecting and distributing child support payments.

There are opponents to the changes that believe it puts too much power into a noncriminal justice system agency, the DMV, and that it will only hurt the situation more. Some fear that a parent that cannot renew their driver’s license due to missing child support payments is likely in a tough financial spot, and losing the ability to drive freely further inhibits their ability to go to work, earn money, or find gainful employment. Until the changes have been in place for a year or so, the impact of the ruling, negative or positive, will remain speculation.

Modifications Could Provide Relief

Child support payments can become financially crippling for the payer if life changes occur. Even careful planning cannot foresee all the things that could happen that require a sum of money, or remove income. If you have found yourself in such a spot and fear that you could lose your driver’s license soon due to denial or revocation, you may want to consider child support modifications.

With a court’s approval, child support can actually be modified or halted. The challenge is convincing both the court and your ex-spouse that the modifications are necessary. To begin crafting your case and perfecting your argument, contact Flower Mound Divorce Attorney Phillip M. Herr. Our law firm would be happy to explain your legal options to you in more detail.

References:

Texas Family Code 232:
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.232.htm

News article:
http://kxan.com/2016/09/01/parents-failing-to-pay-child-support-receiving-notices-in-mail/

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