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Divorce and child support: Texas several billion dollars behind

Texas parents who don’t receive the child support they are owed may struggle each month to pay necessary bills. While a divorce is already difficult to deal with, the financial stress of trying to make ends meet each month can be overwhelming for many parents juggling both the responsibilities of children and day-to-day concerns. Recent statistics show that non-custodial Texas parents are behind by almost $11 billion on their child support payments. This is certainly sobering news for the custodial parents who may be dependent upon these monthly payments.

Almost a million parents across the state have court orders to pay child support. However, almost half a million of those parents were late by at least one month in their payments. Dallas County rounded out the numbers with the most people being delinquent. Statistics show that 46 percent of their residents required to pay child support were behind. Likewise, 42 percent of Harris County parents have also fallen behind recently.

The economy and jobless rate have been blamed for much of the delinquencies. However, authorities are not discounting the fact that sometimes parents intentionally fail to pay their support. Although delinquencies peaked in the year 2009, the state is still billions of dollars behind in payments.

A divorce is difficult for everyone; however, court-mandated child support must be paid according to Texas law. When a parent fails to pay this money, it can make it difficult on everyone in the household. Parents who struggle financially after a divorce may have options to pursue a modification in child support payments through the courts, but it doesn’t immediately excuse them from making their required payments in the meantime.

Source:, “Texas parents owe nearly $11 billion in child support,” Yang Wang, Oct. 1, 2012

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