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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Child Support in Texas called “Purgatory” by Some Custodial Parents

Why has my child support payment been collected by the state, but not then distributed to me?

Recently, some are calling the massive number of undistributed payments in the Texas Office of Attorney General “purgatory.” This is because the custodial parent is put in the precarious position of waiting for money needed to make ends meet. This is money that has been allocated by the noncustodial parent to the state of Texas, but has not thereafter been distributed to the custodial parent. This can be a poverty-inducing experience for some parents in the system. Often, after the custodial parent fights the noncustodial parent for payment, the former faces a second fight with the state for the disbursement of funds.

In the third quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, Texas did not distribute $55 million in child support payments. This pales in comparison to the $21 million figure from this time last year. Clearly, this dismal situation, damaging to so many families, is getting worse.

The state has given a variety of reasons for this delay in distribution.of monies intended to support dependent children, including:

• Custody disputes regarding the amound of payment
• State interception of millions from the IRS that must then be verified as legitimate
• Erroneous information about the custodial's parents personal information, such as
home address or place of employment

In many instances, hiring an attorney can speed the process along.. Attorneys can petition the court for a hearing, and thereafter push the state to provide answers as to why the payment has been delayed. This may be especially helpful if the state is not providing answers to the distributee through the normal channels. If you are having troubling getting responses from the state's 800 telephone number, for example, or have had no success even when you visit a state office, it may be time to hire a family law attorney who is familiar with precisely how to expedite the process.

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