Child support enforcement: License suspension

One of the most common methods of child support enforcement is for the Child Support Division to suspend the payor’s driver’s license. This is usually only done once the parent is more than three months behind on payments. The parent must also not be currently on any kind of repayment schedule, whether negotiated voluntarily or court ordered.

In some cases, licenses other than a driver’s license will also be suspended. These can include professional license, such as licenses to practice medicine, or recreational licenses, such as those that permit the person to hunt or fish.

Once it has been deemed that the parent is more than three months behind and a license suspension is put in place, the Child Support Division begins working to revoke licenses by matching the parent’s information with the various state agencies. Once the match has been found, the parent receives a warning from the Child Support Division that the license will be revoked if the parent does not begin paying. If the case is not resolved at that point, it goes forward for prosecution.

This can often be a very effective deterrent as a driver’s license is usually necessary to get to and from employment or even just navigate around town. If the parent is a commercial driver, a suspension could threaten his or her entire job. The seriousness of this penalty is one reason why the Child Support Division gives the parent multiple opportunities to pay.

If you have received a notice that your license is going to be suspended due to failure to pay child support or you have not been receiving child support payments, a family law attorney can help you understand the next steps.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed July 28, 2015

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