Paying child support arrears if current support is no longer owed

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I successfully won a custody modification and now my child solely resides with me. His mother must also pay me child support.

Now that I no longer have to pay child support, will my state’s child support enforcement agency still garnish my wages because of my past child support arrears?


I can only give you some general information on how a Texas court might handle a situation similar to yours since I am only licensed to practice law in Texas.

Under Texas law, if a parent has child support arrears, the Attorney General can ask the court to order that income be withheld for the liquidation of such child support arrearages.

However, the amount of such withholding shall be (i) an additional 20% over the amount of the current monthly child support, or (ii) the amount necessary to discharge the arrearages in two years, which ever is less. Tex. Fam. Code § 158.003.

Additionally, there is no statute of limitations to the remedy of curing an arrearage by withholding income. Tex. Fam. Code § 158.102. Even if current support is no longer owed, the court may still order that the arrearage be paid.

Texas follows the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which implements procedures for interstate enforcement of support orders in child support cases. If a Texas court issues a support order, the Texas court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the order as long as Texas remains the residence of the obligor, the oblige, or the child.

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

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyer, including Jennifer Hankinson, a Staff Attorney in the Dallas, Texas office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.  

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4 comments on “Paying child support arrears if current support is no longer owed

    My two children are adults now and their dad has never paid me child support. I received AFDC payments for some of his part I guess. I need to know if I am somehow going to get my back pay child support?

    I live in Texas….my son passed away and I’m still having to pay back child support to his mother. The arrears occurred while I was incarcerated. Since his death the mother has collected arrears twice a week plus all of my income tax returns. What can I do to stop this. It has become unbearable knowing this money is only being used now to support her and not my son…Please I need some help with this…..

    Hello I have question my husband is in prison. He has annuity he gets $2300 a month. Child support has been collecting over year now by taking the whole amount. He has set up a payment plan with child support. Do you know if there is a way to get them to stop taking the whole amount and only take the court ordered amount? My husband has paid a majority of the amount owed. He does not want to neglect what he needs to pay just that child support go by court order. He does have alot of health issues, and court legal fees. He would like to see his kids but his ex will only let him see the kids if he pays for them to go up there. He has been taking care of his responsibility if he could get more to pay the whole thing off he would.

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