Texas parents who are in arrears for child support must be aware of the consequences that they may face for their failure to pay. One of the possible punishments that parents may face is jail time. It is important that they are aware of some of the details of what could happen.
However, before parents begin to prepare themselves for the possibility of jail time, they must realize that this is the option of last resort for courts. First, they will take every other measure that they can first to collect the payments, including wage garnishment. They will not order incarceration simply because a parent falls behind on one payment. Instead, they will work through a series of collection measures.
Further, parents will not be incarcerated indefinitely. Jail time will likely be short in order to send the message that they must pay. This is not the preferred course of action because it is in the best interests of the children to have two parents. Further, parents cannot earn money to make good on their debt and payments if they are imprisoned. Nonetheless, parents should be aware that the failure to pay child support cannot go on indefinitely without consequences.
Parents who are in arrears on child support may need the help of a family law attorney to help them work out potential problems that could result in jail time. They may be able to work out some sort of repayment plan or persuade the court that they intend to begin making payments. Jail time is the last option and it can be possible to avoid with the proper amount of communication and mitigation measures. The key is convincing the court that payment will be forthcoming.