Child-Support Obligations Enforceable By Contempt – A court can enforce a child-support obligation that someone has either fallen behind on in payments or flat-out refused to pay. The most common method of enforcement is to hold that person in contempt of court.
You can read more about the different types of contempt proceedings here, but the bottom line is you do not want to have this happen to you. The consequences of being held in contempt of court range from stiff fines to jail time or both. With all that being said, for a child-support order to be enforceable by contempt, the order must have clearly commanded the obligated party to make regular payments, and those payments can only be for child-support obligations – not debts.
Per the Texas Family Code, below are seven child-support obligations that are enforceable by contempt.
- Current and retroactive child support
- Agreement included in final order (example: divorce decree)
- An order to pay health or medical support
- An order to set up life insurance for the child
- A money judgment for unpaid child support
- Interest on unpaid child support
- Attorney fees and court costs directly associated with enforcing child support
NOTE: A child-support obligation cannot be classified as debt. Examples of liabilities not enforceable by contempt are child-support payments that exceed the court’s authority and attorney fees and court costs awarded as sanctions.
Before filing your case, give Nelson Law Group, PC a call. It is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Our friendly staff is here to help you. For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.