Your Child Support and the Attorney General

The Attorney General has some enforcement authority to pursue assets to satisfy child support obligations. Sometimes they go too far.

In The Interest of R.C.T. 2009-TX-0408.559 gives us an example of when a Texas Attorney General goes too far to collect assets for child support. In the case, the husband and wife agreed to a figure of $9,024 that the husband owed in retroactive child support. The Court also approved an agreement for the husband to repay the retroactive support by monthly installments of $150. The Attorney General was not satisfied with this resolution.

The Attorney General did not want to wait for monthly installments of $150. After the Court approved the order, the Attorney General

filed a child support lien against the husband and notified the U.S. Department of Treasury that the husband owed past-due support in excess of $500. The Treasury Department then informed the husband that his tax refund of almost $4,000 would be intercepted and paid to the Attorney General’s office in payment of the retroactive child support.

In order for the Attorney General to legally intercept the husband’s tax refund the husband must be “delinquent” in his child support payments. Until this case, the Court had not interpreted exactly what qualifies as “delinquent” for the purpose of intercepting a tax refund. In its discussion, the Court concluded that in order for a person to be delinquent on their child support obligation they must have failed to comply with the court order concerning child support.

In this case, the court order for payment of the retroactive child support was $150 per month. At the time the Attorney General attempted to intercept the husband’s tax refund the husband was in compliance with the court order. As a result, the Court concluded the retroactive child support balance was not “delinquent” and therefore the Attorney General could not act against the tax refund. If the husband had not made his monthly payments of $150 then the outcome may have been different.

Speak with a Woodlands Divorce Attorney today if you need assistance with your child support issue.