HomeChild SupportChild Support in Texas question?
Posted in Child Support on 19th November 2011

Child Support in Texas question?
My fiance’ owes quite a bit in arrears. At the time of his divorce was finalized his arrears started out at $ 4,500. How can he owe this in arrears if they were still married at the time this $ 4,500 accumulated? I mean why would he pay is WIFE child support, they were still married. If there is no such thing as a “legal seperation” In Texas, to my knowledge, how can he be charged back pay if they were still married? He had his son, partially while they were seperated, provided him with things and even gave her money. He did hire an attorney at the time of his divorce to sort out the custody and child support situation, but the attorney seemed to do nothing regarding these arrears. Should they even be there? Now when he pays monthly, through paycheck deductions, the child support office decides whether to put that months money towards his “child support” or “arrears”, it all goes to his ex for his son, but more arrears get added when they pay towards past arrears. Seems like a vicious cycle and very unfair. Please understand he IS a good father and NOT a deadbeat dad!! He wants to do what’s right, and take care of his son but he can’t seem to get a leg up. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
I appreciate everyone’s input I really do. It is really disappointing that most peoples’ reaction to a divorced father is “take him to the bank”! He does work 2 jobs (for his own expenses as well which seem to be forgotten by all) and now after finding that out they have gone after more $ . If $ wasn’t an issue, we wouldn’t even be discussing arrears.Had he known he’d be facing this back pay he would have gone to the child support office himself, that was not the agreement between them, it was to be settled between the 2 of them, but you’re right “woman scorned” must’ve fueled her decision. Put myself in her shoes? I do not, as I am willing to work to support my kids as well. I didn’t ask this question selfishly, rather for him, watching him suffer tears my heart out. If I have learned anything from going through what I have with him, it is that the system is absolutely biast!!!! I am a woman and honestly do feel for the fathers out there who are NOT deadbeat dads!

Best answer(s):

Answer by wizjp
Legal separation has nothing to do with it. If he had abandoned the property, the court will rule he should be supporting the kids; without reciepts signed in blood, the arrerage clock begins ticking.

Child support is what it is.

Answer by webned
After filing the divorce petition, the court may impose temporary child support payments during the pending divorce action. This is apparently what has happened and yes he does owe it. He’d best be served by paying it off.

Answer by Barney
A woman scorned is as ruthless as a gangster. But I digress. Child support begins at conception. It’s his child, he’s obligated to the care of the child before he’s obligated to another woman. Even if he gave her money before the divorce, it’s here say unless it’s all documented. Even then, it’s her word against his. Put yourself in her shoes.

<<< the child support office decides whether to put that months money towards his "child support" or "arrears", it all goes to his ex for his son, but more arrears get added when they pay towards past arrears. Seems like a vicious cycle and very unfair>>>,

You’re right, it is a vicious cycle, it is unfair and it’s biased. The system is corrupt, it doesn’t work.

My wages were garnished for arrears on top of child support payments. At one point I gained custody of my children and raised them to adulthood. To date my ex owes me over $ 35,000 dollars in back child support. Do you think there’s anyone out there that gives a rats @ss about that? NO!

Answer by Cut Throat B****
I believe you have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks in Texas for a divorce to finalize. How long elapsed between the time they filed and the time the divorced finalized?

Answer by Cindy B
After filing the divorce petition, the court will order temporary child support payments during the pending divorce action. If he was not living with the wife and children he must still support them.

He may have dragged out the divorce if he thought that he would not have to pay until the decree was final.

“Legal separation” is a device used in some states to stop the accrual of community property, but in Texas, all property acquired, even if the parties no longer live together, is still community property, it has no application at all to a child support obligation.

The most his attorney could do at the time of the pending divorce would have been to advise him to pay the support, to avoid the accrual of arrears, such as what did end up happening. And he should have told him that any money he gave to the ex in cash would not apply to the obligation to pay support because he was ordered to pay through the child support agency.

He will be paying interest on the amount that is in arrears, so he should pay as much extra as he can to get it caught up. He will likely need to send additional checks to the child support agency to make up the arrears, and not expect that the payroll deductions is all that he can pay. He might have to get a second job if he is not making enough to pay more than the current amount each month. Or he could take out a loan from a bank, and pay them interest instead of paying the interest to his child. (Nonpayment of child support is like borrowing from your child, and the child is entitled to the interest payment as well.)

I hope that you will observe how he handles this with a very critical eye, because you say he is your fiancee, which implies that you plan to marry him, and if you do you cannot expect to be treated any better than the other ex wife if you ever become his ex wife. Remember, it is never one side or the other who is completely wrong or completely right.

Good Luck

Answer by Carey T
This is straight from the Texas Family Code Sec. 154.009 Entitle Retroactive Child support:

(a) The court may order a parent to pay retroactive child support if the parent:

(1) has not previously been ordered to pay support for the child; and

(2) was not a party to a suit in which support was ordered.

So yes there is no “legal seperation” in Texas, but if he wasn’t helping while he was not around, the court can find that he needs to make up for the time that he was not “bringing home the bacon” lets just say. ‘

Now granted he might have bought things and provided some money, and the court might have taken that into consideration at the time, but he will still be liable for the percentage under the family code for that time period.

Answer by B V
Child support starts the day the petition is filed. If they put it all together for the divorce it probably took a long time for $ 4500 to add up.

Perhaps he can talk to the Child Support Office and agree to send in his normal payment and then an additional payment toward the arrears.

When my ex was ordered to pay child support it was a set amount and then they added a certain amount per month for 24 month to go toward the arrears. Ha ha not that I saw any of it, but it was ordered that way.

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