Child-Support Liens

Child-Support LiensChild-Support Liens – There are a variety of legal options a person has if they need to collect on delinquent child-support payments. We went over one in detail last week. Another option is to request a child-support lien.

Before we get into the specifics of a child-support lien, let’s talk about what lien even means.  A lien is a legal claim made by a person or entity that uses your property as collateral until you as the property owner satisfy a debt. The mortgage loan on your house is a perfect example of a lien. Liens can be placed on both real and personal property. If the property is your homestead, for example, you cannot sell or refinance without first paying the debt in full.

Types of liens include, but are not limited to, IRS liens, mechanics liens, mortgage liens, and judgment liens.

Bottom line: placing a lien on something is highly effective in terms of getting someone to pay what is owed.

What’s the purpose of a child-support lien?

Now that you understand what a lien is, the idea of a child-support lien seems pretty straightforward, right? If a former spouse owes money in child-support (current, retroactive, past due, etc.), the party who is in charge of caring for their children has the ability to request a lien be placed on the obligated party’s property to collect unpaid child support.

Below are just a few examples of real or personal property that child-support liens can be attached to:

  • A bank account
  • A retirement plan
  • Proceeds from an insurance policy
  • All property owned or acquired on or after the date the lien notice or abstract of judgment is filed.
  • All non-homestead real property

Per the Texas Family Code, there are two ways to secure and execute a child-support lien on a property:

  1. Filing or delivering a notice of lien to the person who owns the property and filing a petition to foreclose (if the amount of overdue child-support payments has not been determined by a court).
  2. Filing what’s called an abstract of judgment with the county clerk. It can be enforced by a writ of execution (if the amount of overdue child-support payments has been legally determined by a court).

If you are involved in a child-custody case, or your former spouse is behind on child-support payments, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney before you proceed with any action. At Nelson Law Group PC, our friendly staff is here to help you. Give us a call today. For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here. You can also visit Nelson Law Group on Facebook.com