Incarceration is a real risk for parents who fail to pay child support. You may be able to get away with not paying child support for a while, but it will catch up with you. When it does, the court can hold you in contempt. This means fines on top of what you already owe. The court can also choose to put you in jail for non-payment of child support. The Office of the Attorney General assists families who request child support services. They are also responsible for establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders.

Bail and Back Child Support

Upon your arrest, the judge may set a bail amount. Typically, this money is held to ensure that you will appear for your hearing. Then the court returns your money if you show up for all of your court dates. However, if you’re arrested for back child support it’s possible you will forfeit the money. This is because the money will go to pay your debt and help care for your child. 

Texas family code 157.106 specifies that if the respondent is found to be in arrears of the court-appointed child support, then their bail will be paid to the custodial parent or the child’s legal guardian. This code can be enforced regardless of whether or not the defendant appears in court. 

Possible Repercussions of Back Child Support


In Texas, you can spend up to six months in jail for back child support.

License Revocation

The court can suspend your licenses. These can include driving, professional, hunting, and fishing licenses. 

Wage garnishment

Up to 50% of your disposable income can be garnished to pay child support in Texas.

Intercepted federal money

The government can intercept federal money like lottery winnings and tax refunds, and apply it to your owed child support.

Property lien

This gives the owed guardian a stake in your property, worth the amount you owe. The only way to have the lien removed is to pay what you owe. 


If you owe more than $2,500 in child support you can be denied a passport. 

Low Credit Score

Late child support payments can be reported to credit bureaus and negatively impact your credit score. If you get too far behind, it can go to collections with can be detrimental to your credit score. 

Child support can build during incarceration

Your child support obligation doesn’t automatically go away when you’re incarcerated. You must request a “review and adjustment” of the order. Otherwise, the amount you owe will continue to build while you’re locked up. 

Back child support never goes away

Owed child support doesn’t go away after your child turns 18. You are still expected to pay their guardian for the expenses they were responsible for covering when you fell behind. 

Child support evaders

If you fall under certain criteria, The Office of the Attorney General publicly identifies you for failure to pay child support. You can be added to the list if you have more than $5,000 in delinquent child support, an arrest warrant has been issued, the non-custodial parent is avoiding apprehension, there haven’t been any regularly made payment in six months, a photograph is available, and the custodial parent signs a waiver allowing the information to be made public. 

Delta Bail Bonds

If you or your loved one is facing jail time after an arrest, Delta Bail Bonds can help. Our bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to post bail anywhere in the country, and we’ll be able to help you through every step of the legal process. Call or visit our website to get in touch with a talented bail bondsman today!

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