How can I pay off back child support?

Question: My husband owes back child support in Texas for his two children who are now over 21 years old.

The problem is while he’s trying to pay off the back child support, they keep adding interest on top of his remaining balance. So the interest just keeps piling up and piling up as he’s struggling to make any sort of payments.

At this rate, he’ll never be able to pay this debt off. Is there anything we can do?



First, I must preface that I do not practice in your jurisdiction. Each state has different provisions which control requests to support.  Therefore, you should contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Texas right away; Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Texas who would be happy to help.

In most states, the arrears accumulate interest penalties based on a state statute.  The interest rate varies from state to state.  In addition, many states and the federal government have additional penalties for persons who are in arrears in child support.  This could effect your husband’s ability to get a passport or fishing/hunting licenses, Child Support Enforcement could intercept his tax refunds, and they may be able to place liens on his property.  Child support arrears are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Depending on the interest rate currently being charged, you may be better off seeking a private loan or a mortgage (if you own a home) to pay off the arrears.  In addition to contacting a domestic litigation attorney, you may want to contact a financial planner to discuss your options.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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