I would like to discuss a topic that comes up often in my practice: child support enforcement. When the non-custodial parent fails to comply with his child support obligations pursuant to a court order, either the Attorney General or the custodial parent can file a motion to enforce said order. I am often appointed to represent indigents who face the prospect of going to jail for failure to pay child support. Recently, one of my indigent clients called me about his case and began talking about how the mother uses drugs and her motives for filing the enforcement action. An enforcement action is not about the custodial parent!! The non custodial parent is under the gun and has to do some things to avoid jail time.
1. Show the judge that you don’t have the means to pay child support. That means showing that you are unemployed or disabled. This also means that you have no money: you are not paying rent, you don’t have the latest phones or gadgets, you don’t have expensive clothes or jewelry, etc.
2. Show the judge that you are actively seeking employment. Register with and use the Texas Workforce Commission.
3. Show the judge that you understand what the custodial parent is going through. It is indeed hard to take care of children without financial support.
4. Ask to have your child support reduced. Appointed counsels (at least in our county) cannot file motions to modify child support. You will have to ask the Attorney General to reduce your child support based on the income you currently have.
5. BE NICE TO THE CUSTODIAL PARENT!! They can keep you out of jail.