PLEASE NOTE: We are still open and operational! To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options. click here for Covid 19 updates
Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Could a new approach work for Houston nonsuppporting parents?

It is not uncommon for family law courts here in Houston to jail a parent for habitually not paying child support. However, some people question if this is effective. In many cases, jail time has not proven effective in solving the problem, especially when those jailed cannot make money to meet their child support payments.

According to a recent article, those in the human services field are pursuing a different, subtler approach in the matter. The federal agency, the Office of Child Support Enforcement, is pushing for more programs that will help non-custodial parents find jobs so that they can pay their monthly obligations for their children.

Last year, the OCSE started a pilot program in eight states with the hope of encouraging parents to be ready, willing and able to pay child support. Instead of punishing noncustodial parents, the project will help parents find work and to start paying by using a more cooperative approach, including better coordination among the agencies involved.

U.S. child support programs serve a quarter of all children, about 17 million, needing child support. The latest report reveals that many families rely heavily on the noncustodial parent for their monthly budget.

The program is still in its infancy and improvements will be made over time as the program continues and expands. President Obama's 2014 budget is proposing investing $1.41 billion in the program over a 10-year period. Hopefully, this will yield an additional $1.7 billion in child support payments.

Contempt hearings will continue despite this softer approach to child support. The pilot program's aim is to reduce the occurrence of such hearings by encouraging more creative solutions and employing positive strategies. More and more states are considering the same approach.

Until the program becomes a nationwide effort backed by state laws, those struggling to meet their payment obligations may consider the assistance of a family law attorney. Parents should seek a modification rather than missing payments completely. In Houston, missing child support payments can lead to serious consequences., "Is Jailing Deadbeat Dads Effective?," Jonathan Walters, July 17, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Board Certified
  • IAFL
  • Super Lawyers 2019
  • Best Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Best Law Firms Badge
  • Laura Dale
  • Texas Bar Today Top Ten Badge

Contact Our Experienced Team Today

Se Habla Español | Nous Parlons Français

Due to the experience our lawyers have in many specialized areas, you can rely on us to put together the right team to handle your case, even if it centers on complex issues such as international family law, business valuation or bankruptcy. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
email us for a response

1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Phone: 713-574-7952
Fax: 713-600-1718
Houston Law Office Map

Review Us