Could not paying child support be considered a felony?

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I just spent time in jail for felony non-support after I fell behind on child support payments. I heard in Texas that this charge is no longer a felony.

Is it possible to get a felony conviction expunged from my record?


Since I practice exclusively in the area of domestic relations and do not practice criminal law, I cannot advise you on the specifics of your question. Please contact a Texas criminal law attorney regarding your specific situation.

With that being said, the statute regarding Criminal Non-Support is located in the Texas Penal Code under section 25.05. As it currently stands, the statute has not been repealed in its entirety. Section 25.05 currently reads as follows:

§ 25.05.  Criminal Nonsupport

(a) An individual commits an offense if the individual intentionally or knowingly fails to provide support for the individual’s child younger than 18 years of age, or for the individual’s child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.

(b) For purposes of this section, “child” includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has either been acknowledged by the actor or has been established in a civil suit under the Family Code or the law of another state.

(c) Under this section, a conviction may be had on the uncorroborated testimony of a party to the offense.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor could not provide support for the actor’s child.

(e) The pendency of a prosecution under this section does not affect the power of a court to enter an order for child support under the Family Code.

(f) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

As the statute currently stands an offense under section 25.05 can still be considered a state jail felony. See Tex. Penal Code § 25.05(f). A state jail felony is a lesser degree felony, and the sentence can range from 180 days up to 2 years in a state jail. Punishment can also include a fine not to exceed $10,000. Tex. Penal Code § 12.35.

Since I currently do not practice criminal law I cannot advise you on your specific situation in regards to whether your charge should have been classified as a felony or whether your criminal record can be expunged now that you have completed your sentence.

For more information please contact a Texas criminal law attorney. Thank you for submitting you question. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


Jennifer Hankinson is a Staff Attorney in the Dallas, Texas office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hankinson is licensed in the state of Texas. Ms. Hankinson received her bachelors’ degrees in both Finance and Political Science from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She later received her Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, where she graduated Cum Laude.  

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One comment on “Could not paying child support be considered a felony?

    I. Got. Deported to. Mexico. Iwas. Paying. Child support in Chicago il. Now. I got 8. Years i dont see my children and. Idont want to return to Chicago because i got married in. Mexico. And i have. A better life in. Mexico. If i return to usa ill be. Forcerd to work and. Live. Iligally also work like slave. I. Recomend. To all illegal people to stay away from usa and make business. In their own country as i do in mexico. In produce and i export to usa and i make good monte My. Cuestión is. Whats is gonna happen. In the. Future???

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