Enforcing Child Support Orders in Texas: What Are Your Options?

Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring the financial well-being of children in Texas following a divorce or separation. However, obtaining and enforcing child support orders can sometimes be challenging. In this informative guide, we’ll explore various options available to parents seeking to enforce child support orders in Texas, empowering them to take effective action to secure the financial support their children deserve.

Income Withholding Orders

One of the most common methods of enforcing child support orders in Texas is through income withholding orders. These orders require the paying parent’s employer to withhold a portion of their wages to fulfill their child support obligation. Income withholding orders are typically issued automatically when child support orders are established or modified, providing a reliable means of ensuring regular payments.

Contempt Proceedings

If a paying parent fails to comply with a child support order, the custodial parent may initiate contempt proceedings against them. Contempt proceedings involve filing a motion with the court alleging that the paying parent has willfully violated the child support order. If the court finds the paying parent in contempt, they may face penalties such as fines, wage garnishment, or even imprisonment until they comply with the child support order.

Seizure of Assets

In cases where the paying parent has substantial assets, such as bank accounts or real estate, the custodial parent may seek to enforce the child support order by seizing these assets. This process typically involves obtaining a court order authorizing the seizure of the paying parent’s assets to satisfy the child support arrears. Asset seizure can be an effective enforcement tool for ensuring compliance with child support obligations.

Driver’s License Suspension

In Texas, the state may suspend the paying parent’s driver’s license if they fall behind on child support payments. Driver’s license suspension can serve as a powerful incentive for the paying parent to fulfill their child support obligations, as it can significantly impact their ability to work and travel. To reinstate their driver’s license, the paying parent must typically satisfy their child support arrears or enter into a payment plan.

Passport Denial

In cases involving significant child support arrears, the federal government may deny or revoke the paying parent’s passport. Passport denial can restrict the paying parent’s ability to travel internationally until they satisfy their child support obligations. This enforcement measure underscores the seriousness of fulfilling child support obligations and encourages compliance with court orders.


Enforcing child support orders in Texas requires proactive measures and a thorough understanding of available enforcement options. By utilizing strategies such as income withholding orders, contempt proceedings, asset seizure, driver’s license suspension, and passport denial, custodial parents can take effective action to ensure that their children receive the financial support they need and deserve.