Can my license be suspended for not paying child support in Texas?

Yes, absolutely. Under 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 including a driver’s license, professional licenses, commercial driver’s license, business licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses and concealed handgun licenses. This can be more than an inconvenience. For parents who require a license to do their jobs it puts their employment at risk. That in turn makes it even more likely that the parent will struggle to pay child support in the future. This is among the many reasons why a child support enforcement action is serious and you should hire a family law attorney for your Texas child support enforcement.

Suspending licenses for unpaid child support in Texas

Typically obligors request license suspension or revocation in a child support enforcement for unpaid child support. What happens is that the obligee, attorney general, or domestic relations office will file the child support enforcement motion in the district court. That party will seek a range of relief from the court. The Fort Worth judge will determine whether there is unpaid child support and whether the obligor could have paid it.

If the obligor could have paid the unpaid child support then the court will issue an order for payment. Typically the court will order license suspension or revocation but suspend the order as long as payment occurs within an ordered payment plan. If the obligor fails to satisfy the payment plan then the punishment will go into effect.

Why Texas family court judges suspend licenses for unpaid child support

The purpose of revoking or suspending a license for not paying child support is twofold. First, it is a punitive measure to punish the obligor for not paying child support. Second, it is a deterrent to entice the obligor to pay child support to avoid the license suspension or revocation. Most people need one or more state-issued licenses, like a driver’s license, and losing access can be a major problem. The problem is not just that the obligor will lose the license. The obligor in many cases must pay a fee to reinstate the license. He or she may even have to go back through the application process to obtain a new license.

If the obligor finds himself discovered disregarding the suspension then the obligor will suffer the penalties. For some licensed activity, like practicing law or medicine, the unlicensed activity may result in a felony conviction and jail. As a whole these consequences usually cause the obligor will find the money to pay the unpaid child support.

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