Behind on Child Support? You Can’t Renew Your Car Registration in Texas

occupational-licenseTexas now has a law that if you are too far behind on child support payments you will not be able to renew your vehicle registration. This decision has sparked lots of controversy, as both sides have argued their positions. Critics of the law argue that without the ability to drive a car, Texas parents will struggle to fulfill their childcare obligations or hold down a job to help catch up with payments. Proponents of the law claim that such dire consequences will serve as a strong enough deterrent that divorced parents will be sure to pay child support.

How does the new child support law work?

The new law takes effect after payment has been late for six months. If a parent falls behind on child support payments, the state will issue a 90-day warning to inform them that their registration is on the verge of expiring.  If the parent doesn’t pay during that timeframe, he or she will become unable to renew vehicle registration. This will effectively ban some divorced parents from driving a car. The penalty would be a massive burden in a state where most citizens rely on cars as their primary means of transportation.

What’s best for the children?

While people on both sides of the issue agree that these laws should be designed to protect the children and provide them with the funds they need, opponents of the law are concerned that without the ability to drive, well-intentioned parents with financial woes will fall deeper into economic trouble. This could end up doing more harm than good for the children.

Of course, at the same time, nobody wants to see deadbeats who willfully refuse to pay getting away with it.  As with many issues relating to family law and divorce, the question is controversial. What do you think? Should parents with late child support bills be able to renew registration on their cars?

Julian, Crowder & Shuster are Lewisville bankruptcy attorneys. We handle family law, bankruptcy and criminal defense.

 



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