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Affordable Legal Help | Jul 03, 2020

Statutes of Limitations on Child Support

With each passing year, divorce rates are increasing. The only people who suffer during the separation process of the couple, are the children. They get to live with one of the parents and the other non-custodial parent is obligated to pay child support till they turn 18.

At Affordable Legal Help, we provide unbundled legal services to help you get through the process of child custody and child support settlements.

As a family legal service, it is our responsibility to make you aware of the child support statute of limitations in different states of the US. If you’re a resident of Texas, struggling with child support issues, you should know that it has many laws when it comes to the payment of child support. If the parent fails to make the child support payments, it can result in the suspension of their driver’s license, interception of tax refund and even lawsuit filings.

Understanding Statutes of Limitations on Child Support

When a couple gets divorced in Texas, the physical custody of the child is what sets the basis of child Support Statute of limitations. The non-custodial parent is usually responsible for paying child support. This doesn't mean that the other parent gets off the hook. The court makes sure that the money of child support is being spent on the child and not elsewhere.

The payment amount of child support depends on the income of the non-custodial parent. A simple formula is used to calculate the percentage of child support which has to be paid. The payment amount is then approved by the court, whether it’s sufficient enough to cater to the needs of the child or not.

At times, the parents are not financially stable enough to afford to pay child support. In this case, the court will go through some aspects and adjust the payment accordingly.


Is There a Statute of Limitations on Child Support in Texas?

This is the most important question that people ask and the answer is yes. We provide you comprehensive information about the Texas child support arrears statute of limitations; so that you know what options you have at your hands.

The statute of limitations on child support can be of two variations:

  1. Statute of limitations with an existing court order

 The Texas Family Code states that if there is an existing court order, then the parents have 10 years from the child’s 18th birthday to file for back child support.  If the deadline is crossed, it is up to the court whether to allow or deny the payment of back child support in Texas.


  1. Statute of limitations without an existing court order

In case there is no existing court order, the non-custodial parent still has to pay child support and cannot free themselves from this obligation. Child support is compulsory even in the absence of an official court order. If the parent fails to pay, the custodial parent can file for the recovery of back child support within 4 years of the child’s 18th birthday. This is an uncompromising back child support Texas statute of limitations.


Is there a statute of limitations on collecting back child support in Texas?

 The Texas Family Code states regarding the back child support Texas statute limitations that the recovery for unpaid child support can be filed till:

  • 10 years after the child turns 18
  • 10 years after the support obligation is abolished.

This means that the court has the power to make amendments to the child support arrears within 10 years of the above mentioned situations.

In case of retroactive child support, the child support statute of limitations is that the arrears can be recovered within 4 years of the child’s 18th birthday.

If the parent does not file for the recovery of unpaid child support according to the above rules, chances are that the court might deny it.


How far back does child support go in Texas?

According to the laws regarding collecting back child support, it is stated that it can go back up to 4 years. But there are some conditions where additional years can be granted such as:

  • The obligor intentionally avoided supporting the child.
  • The obligor knew that they are the biological father of the child.


Consequences of Failing to Pay Child Support

There are many instances where a parent fails to pay child support. In this case, the state will calculate an interest of 6% every year on all back support. This means that a parent cannot avoid paying child support for long, as the money will keep piling on and in the end the total amount to be paid will be much higher than the original child support payment.

Keeping this in mind, we are highlighting a few things that parents should know about failing to pay child support.

  • Jail

Parents who refuse to fulfill Texas child support arrears statute of limitations can end up in jail for up to 2 years. They will also have to pay a heavy fine in addition to the child support money.

  • Suspension of License

Failure to pay for child support may result in the suspension of your driver’s license and business license etc. According to Chapter 232 of the Texas Family Code, any license issued by a Texas agency can be revoked or suspended for failure to pay child support.

  • Income Withholding Order

When parents intentionally avoid paying child support, the court can send an Income Withholding Order (IWO) to the non-custodial parent's employer. In this, the amount of child support is automatically deducted from the parent's income. This is by far the most effective way of getting child support.

  • Child Support Liens

A lien can be placed on the assets of the non-custodial parent like car, property or bank accounts, if they do not pay for child support. This lien will only be removed once the arrears are cleared.

Get in Touch with Us

We have lawyers who have vast experience in cases related to child custody and support. They have extensive knowledge about statutes of limitations on child support and can handle even the most complex of cases. They are friendly, hardworking and always available to address your concerns.

So if you want a lawyer that you would like to work with, feel free to contact us. We will arrange a free initial consultation for you with one of our best lawyers in Texas.

Recommended Read: Texas Child Support Calculator